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Do I need a special dimmer switch for LED light bulbs?

Posted by Doug Root on 1st Mar 2019

YES.

If you are making the switch to LED downlights or LED light bulbs and want to dim them then we can help!

Most LED bulbs and LED fixtures are now dimmable. If your wondering if your LED is dimmable you can usually find this information on the outer package our instruction manual. Being dimmable is one thing but knowing what dimming switch works with your particlular LED is the most important part of the discussion. Typically, the manufacturer will usually have a website link that lists the compatible dimmers for the particular model you are using. You can also visit the dimming manufacturers site to see if they have a listing of compatible LED bulbs and fixtures. LED bulbs and fixtures all have different drivers that regulate power for the LED chip inside your bulb or fixture and these drivers need to be dimmed by specific dimming technologies. It is important to understand what type of system you have and what dimmer will be compatible with your LEDs before you buy. 

We suggest using Lutron dimmers, Lutron has been in the lighting control business since the 60's so they understand lighting and how to control it. With the onslaught of LEDs they developed C.L Dimmers which were specifically designed to work with modern LED bulbs, LED fixtures and older technologies like CFL's, incandescents and halogen. Lutron has developed a spectacular tool that allows you to find the dimming device that works specifically with your LED!

Lutron dimmer tool

Dimming LEDs is much different than dimming traditional technologies like halogen or incandescent so you will notice some differences. The main difference is that you have a smaller dimming rage (Typically 70-90% range vs. 100% with incandescent or halogen). LED Bulbs may not shut off at lowest dim setting like with traditional bulbs. This happens because the dimmer thinks the bulb is completely off due to the low amount of wattage the LED consumes. In traditionally dimming systems you are simply lowering the voltage/power to the bulb which in turn dims it down. With LED bulbs you cannot limit the power to the driver, if you do the bulb would flicker or just turn off. With LED special dimmers are designed to send power and control signals to each type of electronic LED driver.

Here are a few of the most compatible Lutron LED Dimming Switches

DVCL-153P

Diva Dimmer

DVCL-153P

Caseta Wireless

Caseta Wireless

P-BDG-PKG

Maestro MACL-153M Dimmers

Maestro Dimmer

MACL-153M

MSCL-OP153M Occupancy sensor

Maestro Dimmer

MSCL-OP153M

Lumea Dimmer

LECL-153P

AYCL-153P WH Ariadni Dimmer Switch

Ariadni Dimmer

AYCL-153P

CTCL-153P Skylark dimmer

Skylark Dimmer

CTCL-153P

RadioRA Maestro

RRD-6CL

If you are unsure of the dimming system and dimming switch you need give us a call at 1-888-988-2852. We have been helping our customers solve their lighting issues since 1981.

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