Dimmer switches allow you to adjust your lighting to the mood, situation, and time of the day. As lighting technology advances, and with developments with LEDs, improvements have been made to dimming. Things such as smoother operation, silent running, and even longevity in LED bulbs.

Brass trailing edge dimmer
1 Gang Brass Trailing Edge dimmer

If you are looking for a dimmer switch, you may be unsure about the type of dimmer that you need. There are so many different dimmers available, and this guide will help you to choose which dimmer you need.

Do you want to dim LED light bulbs?

LED bulbs have become far more affordable in recent years, and many are now suitable for dimming. However, some are not, and you should ensure that your LED bulbs, strips, or downlights are actually dimmable. With this in mind, you will need to ensure you have a trailing edge dimmer.

Occasionally, you can find LEDs that are compatible with leading edge, but these are few and far between. It is best to simply stick to trailing edge dimmers for LED lights.

Browse our selection of dimmable LED bulbs

Dimmable LED bulbs

If you are looking to dim classic incandescent bulbs, then you can use a leading edge dimmer. You can find out more about the difference between these in our blog post; Leading Edge Vs Trailing Edge Dimmer. However there is a risk with choosing a leading edge dimmer, and if you decide to switch over to LED at a later date, you will also need to update to a trailing edge dimmer.

How many lights do you need to control?

Switch plates come with different numbers of switches, or gangs. If you have one light in a room, then you only need a one gang dimmer switch, however if you have lots of lights, or you wish to control different lights separately, you should choose more gangs.

Black Nickel 4 Gang Dimmer
Black Nickel 4 Gang Dimmer

What is the total wattage of the lights you wish to dim?

Dimmer switches generally have a minimum electrical load. This load must be met in order for the switch to operate smoothly. If you have one 8W bulb and a dimmer switch with a minimum load of 10w, then it is likely to flicker or stutter when dimming.

Trailing edge dimmers tend to have a lower minimum load than leading edge dimmers so, as LED bulbs tend to have lower watts than incandescent bulbs, these are better suited for LED.

Switches also have maximum loads, so it is important to keep the load of your lights below the maximum load in order for your lighting to work correctly.

What sort of interior design style do you have?

Dimmer switches, much like other sockets and switches come in a variety of our stunning finishes, and these include brushed chrome, polished chrome, antique brass, brushed brass, black nickel, copper, rose gold and white.

Much like other electrical fittings, it is important to make sure your dimmer switch fits your interior design. You can learn more in our guide to Matching Switch and Socket Finishes to Interior Design Styles.

Can a toggle switch be used as a dimmer switch?

The simple answer is, yes it can! The technology is here and dimming toggle switches are now effectively able to dim lights.Not only does this allow you to choose a style in keeping with your interior design, but including a dimmer toggle has the added benefit of allowing for multi-location dimming.

Brushed Chrome and Brushed Brass Fusion Dimmer Toggle

Using a dimmer toggle offers aesthetic as well as functionality. You can control the brightness from multiple points in the room, and this is possible due to the spring action of the switch. By returning to its original resting position, multiple toggle switches can be connected to the same circuit, allowing for each switch to take control when activated by a press or a hold.

We stock dimmer toggle switches in a variety of beautiful finishes, all of which can be found here.

What kind of dimmer switch do I need?

This depends on what function you need your dimmer to perform.

We now stock a range of dimmers from Soho Lighting that uses award-winning Enkin technology, all of which are silent, flicker free, with a simple standardised button setup, and state-of-the-art safety features.

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right module.

PDM150 – Standard Dimmer Switch

The PDM150 intelligent dimmer is the solution for most domestic lighting situations, able to handle 150W of LED lighting this standard dimmer is perfect for a moderate lighting setup.

Soft start prolongs the life of your LEDs, and the intelligent software allows to accurately assess the optimum level of power for your lights. A reliable all-purpose dimmer.

PDM400 – High-Capacity Dimmer Switch

If you need a dimmer that can withstand a much larger display, the robust PDM400 has a whopping 400W maximum load, allowing you to dim up to 400W of LEDs without compromising performance, or splitting the load between two or more dimmers.

This is great news for those with complex displays that require dimming from one location. An impressively powerful module.

ZDM150 – Zigbee Smart Dimmer

With smart technology fast becoming the preferred choice in homes, the Zigbee smart dimmer brings control of your lighting setup to the palm of your hand via your smartphone. This smart dimmer also features a wiring option, meaning you can install this dimmer with a toggle switch to utilise multi-location dimming.

Supported by iOS and Android, this clever little module allows you to access several features from your phone, including adjusting brightness, turning the lights on and off, and even pre-set ambient moods for different times of the day. A brilliant, cutting-edge solution to smart lighting.

PDM010 – Specialist Dimmer

The PDM010 1-10V DC dimmer is a robust, high-capacity dimmer that is designed for use with a DC controlled driver and is more suited to specialist or commercial lighting systems.

PDD200 – Dummy Dimmer

While not technically a dimmer, you can opt to match your switches with this dummy dimmer to complete your aesthetic. With a maximum load of 1000W, this dummy dimmer will not adjust the brightness of your lights but matches with other standard dimmers for a more appealing design choice.

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