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Are all LED Lights Dimmable?

Are all LED Lights Dimmable? - Liquid LEDs

All LED lights are energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. But is all LED lighting dimmable?

No, not really. Most LED lights are dimmable, but some are not. That said, this should not pose a problem if you are looking for dimmable LEDs. Most times (if not always), the packaging clearly indicates whether the LED bulb in question is dimmable or not.

However, keep in mind there is another factor at play here — the dimmer switch. Older dimmer switches were manufactured keeping in mind the high wattage requirements of halogen and incandescent bulbs. They worked exceedingly well until the LED technology entered the picture. Because LED lights consume far less energy than older bulbs — as in 60% less — they do not always work seemingly with older dimmer switches. If you replace old incandescent bulbs with LEDs but do not replace the dimmer switch, you may encounter incompatibility, buzzing, or flickering. This happens not due to any problem with the LED bulb itself but rather due to the fact the old dimmer is not built to support new technologies. Long story short, you can have dimmable lighting in any space in your home as long as you install dimmable LED light bulbs and use compatible dimmers.

Want Dimmable LED Lighting? Don’t Forget These Two Tips

As said, not every LED light is dimmable. If you want the dimming feature, you should keep two things in mind:

  1. Before you the LED light bulb, make sure the packaging clearly states that the bulb is dimmable. The dimming status is usually mentioned in the technical specifications or the description of the bulb.
  2. In case you are replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED light bulb, you likely are using a leading-edge dimmer, which usually is built for higher wattage bulbs and not fully compatible low-wattage LED light bulbs. In this situation, you should consider installing a new dimmer.

Most people assume their old dimmer switch will seamlessly work with LED light bulbs. However, many times this does not happen. Older dimmer switches usually have a minimum power of 50W. But since LED lights have much lower wattages compared to standard bulbs, when you connect a LED light bulb to that dimmer, the LED bulb will not receive the minimum power it needs and as a result may start flickering, overheating, or making a buzzing noise. With old dimmers, you will fail to dim an LED light bulb completely or properly. LED light bulbs, simply put, require their own dimmer switches to produce a fully dimming and functioning light.

Do I Require Dimmable LED Lights?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But in our experience, more and more people have started using rooms for multiple purposes. For example, most people use kitchen to cook, as well as for eating. Some may even use the kitchen space to work in the day hours.  Dimmable lighting allows you to change the lighting level to match your varied needs. You will likely want bright lighting while working on your laptop or reading a book and a dim light during the mealtime in the evening.

In the end, it all boils down to how you will use a particular space. Do you plan to use for more than purpose? If so, you may be better off using dimmable lighting.

Is it Possible to use my Existing Dimmer with LED Light Bulbs?

If until now you used incandescent bulbs, chances are you have a traditional dimmer, called the leading-edge dimmer. They are designed for incandescent bulbs which require more power than LED light bulbs. Traditional dimmers may work with LED lighting, but you will likely encounter issues such as flickering, a buzzing noise, or overheating. In addition, you may not be able to dim an LED Light fully when paired with an old dimmer. Also, it is possible that the new LED light bulb may not dim at all if you use it with an old dimmer switch.

Therefore, if you want fully functioning and dimming light, you should consider using new dimmers that are designed specifically for LED lighting. 

How far an LED light can be dimmed?

Traditionally, LED light bulbs can be dimmed up to 10%. However, some new LED bulbs can be dimmed to 1%, all thanks to technological advancements. The more an LED light can be dimmed, the longer it will last.