Have you ever wondered how to dim LED lights? If you've tried to dim your LED bulb, but rather than a smooth, silent dim you experience flickering and buzzing, or no dim at all, then you will have a compatibility problem.

In short, it is possible to dim LED lights, however, you need to make sure you have the correct bulbs and the correct switch. Our guide to dimming LED lights will explain everything.

LED bulbs have for a while now been the most energy-efficient and cost-effective way of lighting our homes, offices, and businesses. However, they have suffered from poor aesthetics in the past, mainly due to unattractive plastic bases that cover much of the bulb.

In recent years, more attractive LED bulbs have been brought to the market that are also dimmable, meaning they really are the smarter choice when picking out your light bulbs.

How are LED Bulbs dimmed

How are LED Bulbs dimmed?

LED bulbs are dimmed using a different method than analogue bulbs. Whilst analogue dimming involves the controlling of the current to dim or brighten the light, LEDs use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) which involves the light going through a cycle of being on and off, so fast that you won’t be aware of it.

So for a bulb to be 20% dimmer, it would need to be off 20% of the time. To make sure you can dim your LED bulbs, you will need to have the correct bulbs and the correct dimmer.

What sort of LED bulbs are dimmable?

Unlike incandescent light bulbs, which can generally dim naturally with a dimmer, LED bulbs need to have the capability built-in. So if you are looking to dim LED bulbs, make sure they are dimmable LED bulbs.

The same goes for LED downlights. Be sure to choose dimmable LED downlights if you would like to dim them.

What sort of dimmer should I use for LED lights

What sort of dimmer should I use for LED bulbs?

Firstly, whilst some LED bulbs can work with old dimmer switches, it’s generally better to upgrade to a LED suitable dimmer. Most LEDs will flicker with the wrong types of dimmer switches installed. Secondly, an incompatible dimmer switch will cause buzzing, humming, duller brightness, or a premature burnout of the bulb.

You will need to switch to a dimmer that can handle low-wattage LED bulbs, to enhance the longevity of your LEDs. A 250W or a 400W dimmer, and ideally intelligent trailing edge, will allow your LEDs to dim smoothly and effectively.

When choosing a dimmer, it’s also worth choosing a soft-start dimmer switch. These dimmers will allow for the light to switch on slightly slower, rather than pushing the full amount of power to it straight away. They can also improve the longevity of the bulb.

Testing whether your dimmer is compatible

If you are unsure whether you have a compatible LED dimmer, the easiest thing to do is to ask an electrician. However, we have created a quick guide to checking the compatibility of your LED bulbs with your current dimmer to help assist you.

Now you know how to dim LED lights, browse our collection of dimmable LED products below.

[related_products is_auto_added="1"]