If you've recently switched to LED light bulbs, or you have used them for a while, but now want to use a dimmer switch with them, you may encounter some problems, if you don't use the correct dimmer and LED bulbs. If you don't use the correct switch or bulbs, you could experience flickering and buzzing, or no dim at all.

If you've experienced that problem, it is likely to be down to one of two things: the LEDs or the dimmer switch.

Vintage Edison LED Bulbs

Do you have dimmable LED bulbs?

Traditional incandescent light bulbs can generally dim naturally, so don't need to be specifically dimmable, however LED bulbs need to have a dimmable capability built in, so not all LED bulbs are dimmable. This is due to the way that LED bulbs and incandescent bulbs dim. Analogue dimming, with incandescent bulbs involves controlling the current to dim or brighten the light, whereas 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.

Therefore, when planning the lighting in your home or business, if you wish to use a dimmer, you'll need to use dimmable LEDs, be they bulbs or downlights.

See our range of dimmable LED bulbs.

Are you using the correct dimmer switch for LED bulbs?

Some LED bulbs can work with old style dimmer switches, however it's more likely that they'll work with a more modern, trailing edge dimmer switch. These can be a little more expensive than older dimmers, but are more likely to stop issues including buzzing, humming, inability to achieve full brightness or premature bulb burnout.

LED bulbs have a low wattage, so you'll need to have a dimmer that is 250W or 400W and ideally intelligent trailing edge, for smooth dimming.

See our full range of LED suitable trailing edge dimmer switches.