Sockets & Wiring Cables & Management Consumer Units Lighting Consumables & Tools Fire & Security Heating & Ventilation Smart Home
Sockets & Wiring Back Accessories & Back Boxes Grid Wiring Industrial Plugs & Sockets Sockets & Switches Timer Switches
Cables & Management Back Accessories Cables Management
Consumer Units Back Consumer Unit Accessories Consumer Units & Surge Protection Distribution & Switchgear
Lighting Back Commercial Exterior Interior Lamps & Tubes
Consumables & Tools Back Hygiene Screws & Fixings Sealants Tools & Accessories
Fire & Security Back Door Closers Fire Security
Heating & Ventilation Back Heating Hot Water Ventilation
Smart Home Back Smart Home Automation
Accessories & Back Boxes Back Converter Sockets Plug Tops & Inline Connectors Pop-up Sockets Switch & Socket Surface Pattress Trailing Socket Extension Leads
Grid Wiring Back Grid Switches
Industrial Plugs & Sockets Back Emergency Stop Stations & Push Button Control Industrial Sockets & Switches Rotary Isolators
Sockets & Switches Back Decorative Sockets & Switches Dimmers Floor Sockets & Boxes Metal Clad Sockets & Switches Moulded Sockets & Switches RCD Sockets & Spurs USB Sockets Weatherproof Sockets & Switches
Timer Switches Back Quartz Timers Switches & Controls Time Lag Switches
Accessories Back Boxes & Brackets Connectors & Henley Blocks Copper Lugs & Insulated Crimps Earthing Accessories Glands Grommets Mounting Brackets Push Wire Connectors PVC Tapes & Sleeving SWA Joint & Branch Kits TV, Data & Telephone Accessories
Cables Back 3 Core & Earth Cable Alarm Cable Data Cable Double Insulated Cable Fire Resistant Cable Heat Resistant Flex Round PVC Flex Satellite & Television Cable Single Core Cable SWA Cable Telephone Cable Twin & Earth Cable
Management Back Cable Clips & Ties Cable Tray Catenary Wire Channelling Cleats Conduit Trunking
Consumer Unit Accessories Back Credit Check Meters DIN Rails & Accessories Enclosures & Cabinets Fuses LOTO System Timers
Consumer Units & Surge Protection Back Consumer Units MCBs RCBOs RCDs & RCCBs Surge Protection Devices Switch Fuses & Garage Units
Distribution & Switchgear Back 3 Phase Distribution Contactors Enclosures Overload Relays Switch Fuses & Isolators
Commercial Back Ballasts & Batteries Batten Fittings Bulkhead Lights Emergency Lighting High & Low Bay Lighting Insect Killers Non-Corrosive Fittings Portable Lighting Recessed Fittings
Exterior Back Bulkheads Decking & Garden Lights Floodlights Wall & Brick Lights
Interior Back Bathroom Lighting Cabinet Lighting Ceiling Lights Christmas Lights Fire Rated Downlights LED Drivers & LV Transformers Pullcords & Batten Holders Spot Lights Track Lighting Wall Lights
Lamps & Tubes Back 2D Lamps Candle Lamps Capsule Lamps CFL 2P & 4P Lamps Discharge Lamps Fluorescent & LED Tubes GLS Lamps Golf Ball Lamps LED Filament Mood Lighting Pygmy Lamps Reflector Lamps Spotlight Lamps Strip Lamps Tungsten Halogen Vintage Lighting
Hygiene Back Gels Medical Signs Wipes
Screws & Fixings Back Britclips Capping Nails Electrical Screws Nuts, Bolts & Washers Plasterboard Fixings Roofing Bolts & Nuts Screws Self-Tapping Screws Studding Accessories Wallplugs
Sealants Back Adhesives Cleaning & Maintenance Construction Sealants Foams & Fillers Grab Adhesives Sealants & Silicone Tapes
Tools & Accessories Back Batteries Card Readers Drill & Hole Saws Driver Bits Electricians Hand Tools
Door Closers Back Automatic Door Openers Electromagnetic Holders & Closers
Fire Back Commercial Fire & Smoke Alarm Systems Domestic Fire, Heat & CO Alarms Fire & Emergency Signs Fire Extinguishers
Security Back Burglar Alarms CCTV & Surveillance Systems Code Operated Locks Door Entry Systems Doorbells Home Alone Security Kit Padlocks, Chains & Security Devices PIR & Motion Sensors
Heating Back Central Heating Controls Electric Radiators Electric Towel Rails Hand Dryers Overdoor Heat Curtains Panel Heating Patio Heaters Portable Heaters Tubular Heaters Underfloor Heating
Hot Water Back Economy 7 Hot Water Control Showers Water Heating
Ventilation Back Cooling Fans Ducting Ducting Accessories Extractor Fans
Smart Home Automation Back Smart Accessories Smart Electrical Smart Heating Smart Home Bundles Smart Security
Return to blog

Dimmable lights and light switches

There’s nothing like a dimmable light for setting the scene. When full light is too much, and pitch black is too little, dimmable LED lights give you that perfect in-between. They can create a really romantic setting for your domestic clients, while commercial buildings use them in meeting rooms to prevent glare on screens. 

Whether you’re installing them in the ceiling or the walls, there are a few dimmable LED light facts that you need to know. 

Can LED lights be dimmable?

In short, yes. LED lights make a great option for dimmable lighting due to how little power they use, making them a cost-effective solution for many installations. However, unlike incandescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs aren’t always compatible with traditional dimmer switches.

Even LED bulbs designed for dimmers might only dim down to 30% brightness before turning off completely. This is because traditional dimmer switches require a minimum wattage to function correctly, something that LED lights won’t provide. 

In these circumstances you should consider replacing the switches with LED specific dimmer switches, allowing your client to create the desired look. 

What happens if you put a non-dimmable bulb in a dimmer?

Lightbulbs that aren’t dimmable should never be used with dimmable switches, and there are a few good reasons why. For a start, these lightbulbs won’t be able to handle the changes in power being put through them. This could result in them burning out or shattering, and you don’t want to be the tradesperson who leaves broken bulbs in their trail. Also, overheating incorrect bulbs could cause a serious fire hazard. 

It wouldn’t pass any health and safety test, and definitely wouldn't be great for your reputation. 

Why are dimmable LED lights flickering?

If you’ve installed some dimmable LED lights and you see they’re flickering, there are a few things you can do to fix it. 

You can normally find the cause of the problem at the switch. Double check that the dimmer switch you’re using is compatible with your dimmable LED lights. If it’s not, it won’t be sending a consistent flow of power through to them.

You should also check for any loose wiring in the switch and the light fittings.

Failing that, you could consider using a constant current LED driver. This will ensure your LED lights don’t draw more power than the supply is capable of providing. You may also find there is a level of dimming that the LED lights simply won’t go below. If this is the case, adjust the switch to prevent this being a problem in the future, or consider trying different lights. 

If all of that doesn’t help, we’d advise using a zero-to-10V or digital volt-dimming system rather than a TRIAC alternative. This can be especially helpful on larger dimmable light systems. 

Where do dimmable LED lights work best?

/

Where you install dimmable LED lights is really up to your client’s taste, but there are a few places where they always look great. By installing LED lights flush with the ceiling, you’ll make any space looking stunning. 

Dimmable LED lights for bedrooms

We’ll leave it up to your imagination why someone might want dimmable lights in their bedroom, but let’s just say that can create a really romantic atmosphere. They can also be a relaxing way to wake up, without the need for harsh, bright lights first thing in the morning, or a cosy way to sit back and read before bed. 

Dimmable LED lights for kitchens

For a stylish kitchen finish, dimmable lights are the way to go. You can have them as the main source of light in the room, or use them as spotlights by installing them underneath cabinets or work surfaces

They can really make a meal look its best, and are also a great way to light up your cooking as you work. 

Dimmable LED lights for living rooms

Picture the scene: it’s movie night, the popcorn is out and you lower the lights to get started. Need we say any more?


Thursday 11 February, 2021
Blog

Free 600 Page Catalogue

Over 10,000 products for next day delivery

Get your free catalogue now!