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Which dimmer switch for LED lights?

What is a dimmer?


A dimmer is an electronic device which allows you to control the brightness of your lights. It has different shapes depending on the end use. In order to dim a light consumers can either buy a control knob that can be used wireless or a switch to install on the wall. However, some light bulbs like Philips SceneSwitch, allow you to set your favourite light setting through an ordinary on / off wall switch. Thanks to recent technology advances in the field of smart lighting, now home lights can also be dimmed directly from an app on the phone, even from a different location.

What are the benefits of using a dimmer?


Light flexibility

By using a dimmer you can easily adjust the brightness of the lights in your house depending on your lighting needs. For instance, a soft light can help you enjoy the perfect atmosphere for watching an exciting movie on the tv or eating a delicious dinner with friends or family. The more you dim the light, the warmer it gets. On the other hand, by increasing the brightness you will enjoy a crispy and bright light, perfect for cooking in the kitchen, reading an interesting book or carrying out work activities.

light control

Energy efficiency

Sometimes natural light is not enough. To this extent, light from artificial sources help us to carry out our daily activities in the most comfortable way. Depending on the degree of light during the day a dimmer will enable you to either increase or decrease the light brightness. Or better, dimmable lights will allow you to optimise energy consumptions and ultimately energy costs on your electricity bills. Make sure to have a look at the Energy Label of the lights before buying them.

light control

Product life extension

When a light is dimmed, it is working below the maximum performance. This will help to extend the longevity of a LED lamp life. Indeed, by setting a soft light you can make your lamps last up to 3 years longer! This will also dramatically reduce the lighting maintenance costs as you will not have to replace your lights often. Moreover, dimmable lights also affect our health. A bright light prevents eye strain when carrying activities that require high concentration and can help our circadian clock.

Are there different types of dimmer switches?

There are different types of dimmers for each light technology. To this extent, only dimmable LED lamps can be dimmed and only with an LED dimmer. The different internal driver sets a minimum and maximum load that determines the dimming potential of the lamps. In order to reach the full brightness of the lamp it is recommendable to always buy well-known light manufacturers products.

Why dimmer switches make noise?

Before buying a dimmer it is important to take into account two factors: LED lights only work with LED specific dimmers; not all dimmers are compatible with the lights you have at home. Moreover, not all dimmers have a good quality. A sign of incompatibility between a light and a dimmer is when you hear an unpleasant buzz or an unexpected voltage drop. This can affect not only the quality of the light but also the performance of the lamp. Indeed, using an incompatible dimmer can shorten the life of a light source. To this extent, we recommend to always check the list of compatible light producers. Here you can easily find high quality lights from the most renowned brands, such as Osram, Philips and Sylvania.

Can I dim a light bulb without a switch?

Today the most advanced technologies enable you to set your favourite light setting even without a dimmer. With Philips SceneSwitch for instance, you will only need your wall switch. This smart light bulb has an integrated microchip which memorizes the last light setting. Find out more here. Another option is Philips Hue, which improves safety in your home, by switching on the light of a room through an app also when the house is empty.