A Guide to Dimming LED Lights
Not everyone knows that LED lights can be dimmed to create beautiful mood lighting, similar to other forms of lightbulbs. However, LED bulbs do work differently from other dimmable bulbs, and they don't usually work with traditional dimmer switches.
Dimmer Switches and LEDs
Whilst some types of LEDs do work with old-style dimmer switches, you will usually encounter problems when using them. This is because the dimmer switches are not used to the low wattage that LEDs have and they have a hard time registering them. This can mean that the dimmer switch is incapable of working properly, and you'll see side effects such as :
- Flickering lights
- A humming or buzzing noise, usually high-pitched
- The bulb burning out prematurely (LED bulbs usually last for about 30,000 hours, so should not run out for several years)
- Not reaching the full brightness (LED bulbs should be bright with a targeted light)
If you would rather not take the risk of your LEDs not performing properly, you can buy purpose-built dimmer switches for LEDs. These dimmer switches have been specifically designed to handle the low wattage of LED bulbs, meaning that the lifespan of the bulb will be extended and the brightness will reach optimum performance.
You can purchase LED dimmer switches from Lightsupplier.co.uk. When you're installing them, make sure you follow the instructions accurately. If you're not sure, contact us or a professional electrician for advice.
Choosing a Bulb:
If you're looking to buy LED bulbs for mood lighting, you will need to check that they are suitable for dimming. Incandescent bulbs dim easily, but some LED bulbs will not have this capability. To dim properly, the bulb must have a dimming capable driver circuitry. It will say either on the packaging or in the product description if the bulb can be dimmed - if you are shopping for bulbs on Lightsupplier.co.uk, we clearly state whether our bulbs can be dimmed or not in the description of the product. Your best bet for a high-quality dimmable bulb is to buy from a well-established retailer such as ourselves.
When you choose an LED bulb with dimmable capabilities, you will want to look for a bulb which has a higher lumen level, so that you can enjoy a range of lighting levels, from bright task lighting to relaxing ambient lighting.
If you have a chandelier or another light fitting which uses multiple bulbs, use bulbs from the same manufacturer to achieve an even level of lighting.
If you are not sure which LED bulbs work best for your needs, check out our buying guide