One of the questions we regularly get asked is whether you can use our standard dimmers with LED bulbs and lamps. The answer is maybe, but we wouldn't recommend it normally.
All our standard dimmers are leading edge dimmers, which are designed for use with traditional incandescent or halogen lamps. Whilst these still work with certain LEDs, they can cause problems and as a result we would not recommend using them with LED bulbs.
What problems could I get with LEDs and dimmers?
There are typically two problems you get with LED lamps working with leading edge dimmers:
1. The bulbs flicker
This can happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes the bulbs can flicker when the light is on bright but, more often than not, they flicker when the lamps are dimmed low.
2. The dimmer module buzzes
You might hear either a buzz or a hum from the dimmer itself, which is an indication the dimmer is not compatible.
Can I avoid problems with LEDs and dimmers when I buy?
Yes, we have an alternative dimmer for all the ranges we have available. These dimmers are LED compatible and will work with LED bulbs, as long as the bulbs are dimmable LED (normal LED don't usually work with dimmers).
What if I already have the dimmer?
If you are changing your lights to LED and have them on a standard dimmer it is possible to change the dimmer module only. It is relatively simple to do, and means you can use the same plate and dimmer cap, just replacing the electrical component in the back of the dimmer.
What if it still doesn't work?
Most of our LED dimmers use the Varilight Pro dimmer module. We have found that these offer the best compatibility with dimmable LED bulbs. If it still doesn't work please make sure you have tried all three settings with this module. There are instructions on how to change the settings on your Varilight Pro dimmer here.
Which dimmers and LED bulbs would you recommend?
We test all our LED lamps with our trailing edge dimmers and can recommend using Megaman, DAR or Belll LED bulbs and lamps because we know they work.
I still have some questions; can you help?
Of course! Just get in touch by email, phone, Twitter or Facebook and we’ll be happy answer your queries. You can also read our posts on how dimmers work and the advantages of LED light bulbs to find out more about the technical side.