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Best led dimmer switches 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2019
Best led dimmer switches of 2018
After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Here, I will review 3 of the best led dimmer switches of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets. Simply review and buy them.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this led dimmer switches win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this led dimmer switches come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
Why did this led dimmer switches take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!
led dimmer switches Buyer’s Guide
Incandescent lights work by using electricity to heat up a filament inside a container with inert gas, which produces light after a certain degree. The major drawback to this is its efficiency. Only 2.2% of all energy used produces light or lumens, with the best being still a measly 5%. The rest is converted into heat, which eventually heats up its surroundings.
Halogens work almost the same, only with the addition of a halogen gas inside. The halogen gas redeposits the tungsten evaporated from heat back into the filament, extending its lifespan. This has two downsides, however. First, the tungsten generates UV light which will slowly damage any color pigments it comes in contact with. Furthermore, they are extremely hot. So hot that they are at times used in ceramic cook top stoves! As such, not only do they not increase efficiency, the added heat and UV light make these horrible home lights.
Fluorescent bulbs work by passing electric current and energizing the mercury vapor inside the tubes. The vapor then produces short-wave UV light that causes the phosphor coating to glow. They are much more efficient than Incandescent and Halogens, having a 15% efficiency at best. However, they still generate high amounts of heat (not as much as the Halogen though) and UV light.
To start if off, this LED bulb has a CRI of 80+. Sadly, however, there is no mention of Rrating. It is UL listed as well, so it has some backing.
The TIWIN A1come in only varieties, but it makes up for it on lumens. Both the 2700K and 5000K output 1100lm, and both use 1watts at max power. The high lumens make these a perfect 80w Incandescent replacement for those looking.
According to the manufacturer, these LED bulbs are not suited for full enclosures as the voltage regulator heats up a little too much. They will, however, do fine in semi-closed enclosures.
SGL Inch Downlight
Onwards we go, with this bulb having a CRI of 80+. This bulb is ENERGY STAR and UL Listed, using up to 1watts at max, making this an efficient LED.
These LED bulbs come in versions, 3000/4000/5000K, with lumens being as follows: 3000K: 1050lm, 4000K: 1080lm and 5000K: 1150lm. With their high lumens, this downlight is perfect for an 80w Incandescent replacement.
On another note, this LED bulb boasts an amazing dimmability of 100% to 1%, making it the best dimming LED bulb on this list.
This bulb is rated for enclosed fixtures as well, due to its requirement of a recessed can. While these LED bulbs are dimmable, sadly no percentage is given and as such, should be assumed to be 100-50%. Lastly, this LED light bulb is also rated for outdoor use, making this appealing to those wanting a recessed patio bulb.
Coming with a choice of glows, the 2700K outputs: 630lm, 3000K outputs 650 and the 4000K outputs 670. Every glow also consumes the same wattage, 14w.
As such, they are on the dimmer side in terms of lumens, mostly due to the smaller size and increased attention to CRI. Overall, however, these are an amazing replacement for 60 watt Incandescent bulbs, but will fall behind as 80 and 100-watt bulb replacements.
LOHAS Torpedo LED
As one of the smallest LED bulb around, the LOHAS Torpedo LEDs fall shorter on the spec side. However, these still manage a CRI>80, making them on par with others here on this list. And due to their size, take the least around of watts, maxing out at watts on 100% brightness. Sadly, however, these are not UL-listed, so keep this in mind.
In terms of lumens, the LOHAS fall under with the 2700/4000/5000K all outputting 550lm. As such, these LED bulbs are best used to replace a 40-watt Incandescent, not a 60 watt as advertised. However, due to its design, this LED is marketed as a 360° bulb. As such, when placed in certain fixtures, they may seem brighter than one might expect.
Something that must be noted, is some of the design issues. People have reported issues with the base not fitting all the way and thus making these LED bulbs worthless to them. This is because the base is on the shorter side, making the bulb not fit in every socket.
LEDMO LED Candelabra
On the lumens side, these are brighter than the LOHAS, with the 3000K and 6000K both outputting 630lm. Unlike the LOHAS however these only have a 270° beam angle, and as such, cover less area compared to the other.
Tube LED Bulbs
A quick note: *most these require ballast bypass as per instructions given by HYPERIKON.
To start it off, these tube LEDs boast a CRI of 84, making them better than most other tubes. Though they are one of the most power intensive, drawing in 1watts. This LED bulb is not ENERGY STAR qualified, but it is DLC qualified. As such, it still is an efficient bulb and has some credibility.
There is some similarity spec wise between this set of LED tubes, and the ones above. And as such, this tube draws 1watts. The lumens are the same all across the glows, with 3000/4000/5000/6000K all outputting 2200lm, just like the double ended. Lastly, this bulb also comes in at a CRI of 84, so this choice is mostly out of which works on your fixture.
Clinton directs and shoots videos for Stark Insider. Recent projects include BTS short LUZIA with Cirque du Soleil, short film collection WHO IS STARK INSIDER?, and art-doc WRONG’S WHAT I DO BEST shot on location at the San Francisco Art Institute. His Broadway shorts, such as SHREK UNMASKED, have garnered acclaim. He’s worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and “studied under” filmmaker Werner Herzog. He also writes on Stark Insider about the San Francisco arts scene, Napa, Silicon Valley and gadgets.
Wemo Dimmer Light Switch with WiFi
Here is another high-quality dimmer switch that you can use to control your lights from anywhere. It will make it easy to set timers and schedules so that your lights will always be just how you like them. And it will also help to optimize your lights by calibrating to your bulbs, and it will also come with a night mode to protect your eyes.
Lutron DIVA DVWCL-153PH-WH Dimmable Switch
If you want an affordable, easy to install and use dimmer switch this one from Lutron will be an excellent choice. You can use it with both 3-way and single pole applications. And it also features paddle switch to turn the lights on and return the brightness to your preset level, and it will work with all halogens/incandescent and dimmable LED/CFL that are up to 150 watts. You can also choose your switch from different colors.
It is vital to make sure that the wattage on your bulb is compatible with your dimmers. Also, you will need to determine the number of bulbs you intend to use on one dimmer to prevent overloading. Always remember to check the wattage that the dimmer can handle and match it with the types and number of bulbs you have.
The most recognisable type of bulb, and the easiest to replace. Let’s say you have a standard 60W incandescent bulb which you use to light your lounge and replace it with a 12W Verbatim LED bulb. This is overkill, if anything, as the replacement will be noticeably brighter (producing 1,100 lumens – the equivalent of a 77W incandescent bulb and representing 8percent energy saving).
Using some average figures – 15p per kWh of electricity – you’ll save around £per year.
They’re said to last for 25,000 hours – the same as the Verbatim – and you’ll break even in roughly two years.
There are various types of incandescent bulb. The common version – in the photo above – is an E2screw, but it can also have a traditional bayonet fitting. Most LED bulbs offer a choice of either fitting.
You may also have R50 spotlight bulbs (also known as SES or E14) in ceiling light fittings. These are fairly widely available as LED versions.
However, using the same SES / E1screw fitting are many ‘candle’ bulbs. Again, these are easily available in LED.
All of these are inefficient and can be replaced with LEDs. Halogen spotlights are perhaps the worst culprits as although they use less power than incandescent bulbs, they’re rarely used singly. Typically there will be up to six or eight per room, and if each is a 35W lamp, that’s between 200 and 300W. Halogens are notoriously inefficient, such that you can buy ‘energy-efficient’ halogen bulbs, but even these save only around a third.
Halogens come in two main types: GU(mains voltage) and MR1(low voltage – 12V). Just because some are low voltage doesn’t mean they use less power. They don’t.
Don’t forget your outdoor lighting. Halogen floodlights – which have lamps which consume between 120 and 500 watts – can be replaced with 10- or 20W LED versions for around £to £20 per light: you replace the entire light fitting. This 10W model costs only £9.9from Toolstation.
Colour temperature is crucial: most people prefer the warm white, which is very similar to halogen, rather than the ‘cold’ bluish tint of white or cool-white LEDs. Look out for the actual colour temperature in Kelvin: 2700-3000K is a good warm white. Higher values, say 5000K or 6000K will look cooler. If you want a whiter look, be careful as you can end up with a very clinical look.
You also need to look at brightness, measured in lumens. Try to find out how many lumens your current halogen lamps produce, and match or exceed that. Some cheap LED bulbs produce as little as 120lm, but you’ll probably find you need 350-400lm to provide the same light output as your existing bulbs.
Next up is beam angle. This determines the spread of light the bulb produces. A narrower angle means light will be concentrated on a smaller area, like a spotlight. A larger angle is better for lighting a larger area, but don’t forget this means it could appear dimmer overall. For replacing Halogen downlights, look for a beam angle of around 40 degrees. Incadescent replacements should have a much larger beam angle, say 140 degrees.
CRI is another spec you should see (if you don’t, it’s worth asking for the CRI figure). Here’s why: CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index and is a measure of the light quality from 0 to 100. In other words, the CRI score tells you if objects appear the correct colour when lit using that bulb. Incandescent bulbs had a brilliant CRI, but not so with fluorescent tubes. If you want to avoid bad-looking lighting, it’s crucial to go for LEDs with a high CRI.
Not all LEDs use the same technology. Cheaper bulbs will tend to use multiple SMD (surface-mount device) LEDs, but newer or more expensive ones will use COB – chip on-board LEDs.
COB offers a higher light output per watt, and tends to be used in smaller bulbs such as MR1COB isn’t necessarily better than SMD, though. It depends on the form factor of the bulbs you’re buying and your priorities in terms of budget.
If you are replacing low-voltage halogen bulbs, there are no guarantees that LEDs will work on your particular transformers which may require a minimum power draw to work properly. If the draw is too low from your super-efficient LED bulbs, they may flicker or not work at all. In this case, you would need to either replace the transformers with proper LED drivers, or change the fittings from MR1to mains-voltage GUfittings and buy GULED bulbs instead. Fittings are cheap, and it may be cheaper to go down this route than buy an LED driver for each MR1bulb.
You really don’t think about electricity too much, unless you are an electrician. Just put a device into the wall, flip a switch, and it works. But knowing a few basics about electricity before you buy a dimmer can be helpful. Manufacturers like Hinkley utilize many of the below basic electricity details in their instruction manuals. Verify that the light fixture you buy has these details in their manuals.
There are basic dimmer functions.
Adjustment: to adjust the intensity of light. Done with a knob, slide, or touch pad.
Presets: When you turn off the light, then turn it on, the dimmer remembers the intensity. This is done with separate intensity controls and an on/off switch.
Remote / 3-Way: These allow you to control lights from more than location.
Indicator Light: This makes it easy to locate in a dark room, or tell the difference between off and very dim.
Dimmers for Multiple Lights or High Wattage Lights
There are extra considerations with dimmers for high wattages (1000 watts and over), dimmers for low voltage fixtures, and multiple dimmers that share a faceplate (called ganging).
LED vs. CFL vs. Halogen
LEDs vs. Incandescent Bulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs measured their brightness in watts; if you wanted a brighter bulb, you bought one with a higher wattage. However, with the advent of LEDs and other types of lighting, that yardstick has become meaningless, and as a result, a bulb’s brightness is now listed as lumens, which is a more accurate measurement of how bright it is, rather than how much energy it consumes. Below is a conversion table which shows how much energy, in watts, an incandescent bulb and an LED typically require to produce the same amount of light.
Other Lightbulb Alternatives
EISA will also stop the manufacturing of candle-and globe-shaped 60-watt incandescent bulbs (the types used in chandeliers and bathroom vanity light fixtures). However, the law doesn’t affect 40-watt versions of those bulbs, nor three-way (50 to 100 to 150-watt) incandescent A1bulbs. So, those will continue to be an option for you, as well, in fixtures that will accommodate them.
LED Lightbulb Options
Traditional bulbs for table and floor lamps are known by their lighting industry style name “A19,”while floodlight bulbs made for track lights and in-ceiling fixtures are dubbed “BR30.” Your best long-term alternative to either style is extremely energy-efficient LED technology.
The LED equivalent of a 60-watt A1bulb consumes only between and 1watts, and provides about the same light output, measured in lumens. A 40-watt equivalent LED bulb consumes only to 8.watts. And a 65-watt BR30 (floodlight) replacement LED bulb consumes only to 1watts.
Moreover, an LED bulb’s lifespan is practically infinite. Manufacturers typically estimate a bulb’s lifespan based on three hours of use per day. By that measurement, an LED bulb will be as good as new for at least a decade, manufacturers say. Under the same conditions, an old-fashioned lightbulb may work for only about a year before burning out.
For example, GE’s equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 15,000 hours or 13.years. Philips’ equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 10,000 hours or 9.1years.
LED bulbs will continue to light up even after their rated lifetimes expire; however, brightness may drop or the color cast of the light may change.
GE, Philips, Sylvania, Cree and other brands (including IKEA) all offer LED bulbs that output the most popular “soft white” light, at retailers including Home Depot, Target and Walmart. In addition, GE ‘s Reveal lineup of color-enhancing lightbulbs (a coating filters out yellow tones to enhance colors lit by the bulb) with LED replacements equivalent to 40-watt and 60-watt A1bulbs and to a 65-watt BR30 bulb.
2700K: These bulbs will be labeled “soft white,” and will cast a gentle warm glow that’s good for the bedroom, as well as table and floor lamps.
3000K: “Bright White” bulbs have a more neutral glow, being neither warm nor cool.
5000K: Lights that are 5000K and higher will typically have a “daylight” label, and edge towards the bluer part of the spectrum. However, they will best approximate actual sunlight.
Why you should trust me
I’ve written about consumer electronics for over 1years and have tested smart-home products from remotes and security cameras to AV receivers and speakers. As an editor for Electronic House and Big Picture Big Sound, I’ve written buyer’s guides for all kinds of consumer electronics. I’ve also done tech-related work for Wired, Woman’s Day, GeekMom, Men’s Health, USA Today, and others.
Although I performed hours of testing on each product myself, my husband, who is a licensed electrician, completed each switch installation. He’s installed literally thousands of switches and was able to help evaluate each installation and the build quality of each switch; this also made swapping out switches times faster than if I’d done it. If you aren’t comfortable or familiar with wiring, it’s always best to have a professional do it.
Who should get this
Everyone can benefit from smart lighting. Most of us have left lights on, or walked into a completely dark house. Smart lighting allows you to turn those lights on and off from almost anywhere using a smartphone, as well as use an app to set schedules so the lights will, for example, power on and off automatically based on certain times of day.
There are many smart lighting products available, including bulbs, plug-in switches, and dimmers. Some connect directly to your Wi-Fi network; others connect to a smart-home hub using wireless technologies such as Z-Wave or ZigBee. A Wi-Fi–enabled smart bulb is easy to get up and running (pretty much everyone knows how to screw in a lightbulb, right?), and they’re great if you want to automate or control a single lamp.
A smart switch is a more permanent fixture, allowing you to control one or more lights on a circuit. These in-wall controllers work with almost any type of bulb—except smart bulbs, which would be redundant, plus smart bulbs on smart switches often create a humming noise.
We recently took an in-depth look at Z-Wave in-wall dimmers designed specifically for owners of Z-Wave smart-home hubs, such as SmartThings or Wink. For this guide, we looked at a few different wireless switches, with the bulk using Wi-Fi technology. All of these models can add ambiance and save electricity. Most of these wireless switches also work without the need for a smart-home hub (though some may require their own Internet bridge), easily connecting to your home’s existing wireless network. In-wall wireless switches can control one or more lights in the home and typically integrate with other smart devices in the home.
Because no other devices are needed in most cases, swapping your current switches with wireless switches should be easy. However, all but one of them—the Lutron Caséta—require a neutral wire in the switch box. It should be there already, but some older homes may not have this readily available. Just know that swapping out light switches isn’t for everyone. It can actually be dangerous. If you aren’t comfortable with turning off the power and poking around inside the wall, please hire a licensed electrician to do the job.
How we picked
Most of the dimmers and switches we installed share the same rocker-button style, with the exception of the Lutron Caséta, which sports multiple buttons.
We also considered two models that use proprietary wireless technologies because, frankly, they don’t really fit anywhere else and, more important, they fill the same need as Wi-Fi–based models. Lutron Caséta Wireless uses the company’s Clear Connect RF technology, and Insteon is a dual-mesh technology that combines wireless radio frequency (RF) and your existing electrical wiring.
How we tested
The part of a wireless switch that goes inside the wall is bulkier than the average light switch, due to the extra technology built in. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to get out a handsaw, but it does make the installation slightly more difficult than your average light-switch swap. Except for the Lutron dimmer, each in-wall product we reviewed also requires a neutral wire. If you have older switches, you may not have this wire inside the existing box. If this is the case, you’ll have to hire an electrician to rewire the entire switch configuration or you should reconsider putting a wireless in-wall switch in that location. Without digging into every switch in our house, we opted to do our testing in the living room and dining room, where we knew we had the right wiring already.
It’s important to note that some switches are designed for single-pole operation, and others offer three-way (and in the case of iDevices, four-way) functionality. A single-pole switch can control one light or a series of lights from one switch, and a three-way switch can control one or more lights from two locations, such as at the bottom and top of the stairs. A four-way switch can control lights from multiple locations. When installing non-smart switches, a single-pole switch has two terminals, three-way switches have three, and four-way switches have four. However, in the case of smart in-wall switches, most install the same as a single-pole switch. The lone exception of the models we tested is the Leviton, which will operate as a three-way switch only if you have the appropriate wiring.
Even with the larger switch body and the wiring requirements, it took my in-house electrician less than minutes to complete each installation, which included shutting off the electricity at the circuit breaker and removing the old switches.
We tested each switch separately for approximately two weeks, and all allowed us to turn lights on and off, as well as set schedules using each device’s respective smartphone app. Dimmers added the option to trigger the applicable light to dim at a certain time of day. We also tested to see if any of the switches had a noticeable delay between when we used a control and when the connected lights responded. All of the models we tested switched lights on and off immediately, both when physically touching the switch and when using the controls through its app.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
As mentioned, the Lutron Caséta Wireless In-Wall Dimmer isn’t a Wi-Fi dimmer. It uses Clear Connect RF technology, so you’ll need the Smart Bridge hub (or a Wink hub). That up-front cost makes it a little pricier than some of the stand-alone Wi-Fi switches on our list, so if you’re upgrading only one switch, you might be better off with one of our other picks. However, Lutron does have a starter package that makes it slightly more affordable. Once you have that hub in place, the cost of spreading smart lighting to other areas of your home is comparable to (or less than) that of the other dimmers on our list.
What to look forward to
As we wrapped up testing in spring 2017, Koogeek started working on its own HomeKit-enabled in-wall Wi-Fi switch. One is designed for one-gang installs, the other for two-gang configurations. In May of the same year, Ecobee debuted plans to get into smart lighting. The Ecobee Switch+ will pack Alexa and far-field voice recognition into a smart light switch.
Promising single-pole, three-way, and four-way functionality, the iDevices Wall Switch is just as expensive as the Plum, but isn’t quite as pretty, offering the same night-light feature that can be found on iDevice’s smart plug. That night-light can be turned off or tweaked to a variety of different colors using the company’s iOS and Android apps, as well as HomeKit. However, Alexa support is limited to on-off functions. It should also be noted that our test model came attached to a box with its own power supply; the company was unable to furnish an uninstalled unit.
Like the Ankuoo Neo, the WiOn Indoor In-Wall Wi-Fi Switch is very basic. The single-pole switch offers the same limited features, including remote control via iOS and Android, schedules, timers, and countdowns. However, it’s more expensive than the Neo and the graphics in the app look “worn,” almost like they’ve been photocopied multiple times and placed inside the screen.
Light bulb technology
There are three types of light bulb currently available: LED are the most efficient, followed by CFL and then halogen.
Halogen bulbs are being phased out from September 2016, starting with directional bulbs (spotlights) and followed by non-directional bulbs in 2018.
LEDs have a much longer lifespan than other bulbs and are now more affordable, but they are less suited to dimmers. It’s worth checking if the bulb is dimmable before purchasing.
Dining room lighting
Pendant lights shine light down onto the table, drawing attention to the main focus of the room. Lights hung in a cluster or a chandelier fitting can really make an impact in your dining area.
Additional floor lamps or wall lights are ideal for entertaining as they provide softer, atmospheric lighting.
A ceiling light provides bright lighting for the whole room while desk lamps or positioned spotlights offer directional light for reading and studying.
Consider an illuminated mirror for applying make-up, these mimic natural light for application accuracy.
Use spotlights to illuminate the inside of a wardrobe to make it easier to see into a dark space.
Children’s bedroom lighting
This lighting should be bright and functional for playing. Celling lights provide good general lighting while table lamps or night lights offer a softer glow in the evening.
A desk lamp is an ideal choice for homework and studying.
Many of our table lamps have a fully encased light bulb to prevent little fingers from touching the hot surface.
Bathroom lights require additional protection from water and moisture, this is indicated by an IP (ingress protection) rating. All bathroom lights need a minimum IP4rating to comply with British wiring regulations.
Bathrooms have three safety ‘zones’ – 0, and These zones are identified by their likely contact with water and determine what type of light you can use in that area.
Only light fittings with a suitable IP rating can be used in a specific zone. Argos’ bathroom lights should only be used in zones and in the bathroom, but can also be used in other areas of the house too.
The light switch should be a pull cord inside the bathroom or a regular light switch outside.
You’ll need a good level of light from ceiling lights for food preparation and cooking in the kitchen area.
Light fittings which have moveable spotlights allow you to angle light on areas which need additional illumination, such as a worktop, sink or oven. Under cabinet spotlights can also provide extra light for tasks like chopping.
Kitchen areas are also subject to lighting safety ‘zone’ legislation but this is only applicable to the area directly above the sink. This is classified as zone and therefore an IP rating of 4is required.
Switches and dimmers
These have single, double or triple switch buttons and are usually made from metal or plastic. Switch plate finishes include chrome effect, brushed steel, nickel effect and white. Dimmer switches control the brightness of your light, either by touch, a rotating switch, or remotely through a smart phone.
When buying traditional incandescent light bulbs, all we needed to pay attention to was the bulb shape, wattage which indicated the brightness of the bulb and the screw base size to make sure it fits into the lamp.
With CFL’s came the option of choosing the light appearance described mostly as soft white, bright white and daylight. Soft white resembles the warm tone of an incandescent bulb whereas bright and daylight being more crisp and cooler with a blueish appearance.
After all, LED products are still more expensive than comparable incandescent products and they will be a much longer lasting appliance, so we want to make sure we are buying the right product for the job.
First off, we have to let go of the misconception that wattage equals brightness. While for incandescent bulbs wattage and brightness had a direct correlation, this is not true for LED products and since LED’s consume much less power (Watts), it’s impossible to compare brightness of an incandescent and an LED bulb based on wattage.
So the only factor to pay attention to when looking for brightness of an LED light is Lumens. Lumen is the unit of measure for brightness and tells us how much light a particular lighting product emits.
For reference, a typical incandescent 60 W bulb emits approximately 800 lumens.
The color appearance or correlated color temperature (CCT) of light is measured in kelvin (K). When we want to know if a lighting fixture or bulb creates a warmer or crisper, cooler light we need to look for the kelvin number. The lower the number, the warmer the light will be and the higher the number the more cool and blue the light will appear. A typical incandescent bulb has a color temperature between 2700K and 3000K. The sun at noon on a clear day produces a light of approximately 5500K.
People often complain about the cool, sterile light appearance of CFL bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs. The issue here is that they chose a high kelvin, cool color temperature instead of a warmer color temperature.
Have you ever been to a store and thought that you are color blind, because you couldn’t quite make out if the piece of clothing you were looking at was a dark green or blue? If so, then you experienced poor color rendering by the light fixture inside that store.
Light sources differ in their ability to display the colors of objects “correctly”. And by correctly we mean compared to a natural light source like the sun or an incandescent bulb.
The color rendering is expressed as the Color Rendering Index or short CRI. The scale goes from 0 to 100. A 2700K incandescent light bulb has a CRI of 100.
A value of above 80 is with current LED technology considered a good CRI and will be sufficient for most applications. However, for some areas, better color rendering of 90 or above can be desirable, we explain that in the next section.
Lighting is typically categorized in ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting. Each category provides a different purpose. When planning the light for a home, it is helpful to understand how these different light levels can complement each other.
Ambient (or general) lighting provides a uniform amount of lighting throughout an area or room for general vision and orientation.
Recessed down lights, cove lighting or pendant-hung fixtures are typical examples for ambient lighting.
Color Temperatures for Ambient Light
The ambient lighting in a room is typically the main source of light and therefore a key element in setting the overall mood and ambience for a room.
Warm white lighting fixtures are often preferred in living rooms and bedrooms to create a cozy atmosphere.
The kelvin numbers offered for LED lights are typically 2700K and 3000K. These warm white lights are a good choice to compliment earthy tones and wood furniture.
If more than one type of ambient light is installed, e.g. down lights and cove lighting, choose the same color temperature for both to ensure an even, harmonic effect.
Though many people seem to prefer warm white, rooms that are decorated with light colored furniture and crisper colors, like white, blue and light grey e.g. in a modern kitchen, can benefit from a more neutral, cooler light.
Lighting with kelvin numbers in the range from 3500K to 4000K are considered neutral white and accentuate lighter colors better than warm white lights.
In addition, studies show that neutral and cool white light has an energizing effect on people, and is therefore are a good choice for home offices and studies.
Since neutral and cool white light creates better contrast than warm white, they are also a good choice for the main ambient light in bathrooms. The cooler light will provide a more realistic idea on what we look like in the real world. Look for kelvin numbers between 4000K and 5000K for your main ambient bathroom fixture.
If the bathroom features a bathtub and you want to be able to create a warm atmosphere as well, consider using an additional layer of light, e.g. a wall sconce with a warm white light in the range of 2700K that can be switched separately from the main light.
Dimming is an important feature of ambient and task lighting. It enables us to set the light level to create the desired atmosphere in an area or create the ideal brightness for a task. In addition, dimming provides energy savings by reducing the electric load of a light fixture.
As opposed to a standard incandescent lamp, not all LED fixtures are built to be dimmable, it is therefore important to look at the product label and ensure that the fixture is marked as dimmable.
When making the switch to LED, be prepared to also change out your dimmer switches. Most dimmers were built for incandescent, bulbs, however LED’s are based on a very different technology and therefore these two don’t necessarily work well together. It’s like trying to connect your old rotary phone to your digital phone outlet.
Most manufacturers provide a compatibility list that shows dimmer manufacturers and models that have been tested and are compatible with the LED fixture.
To ensure an optimal lighting experience, it’s highly recommended to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Using incompatible dimmers can lead to flickering lights or insufficient dimming levels.
Though most LED lighting fixtures are considered low-voltage, that means they either have a transformer build in or require an external transformer, the good news is, it is not necessary to rewire a house to use LED’s. All the wiring that is commonly used in houses is perfectly fine for use with LEDs.
Many LED fixtures have a transformer already built in and can be connected to a standard electrical outlet. Some LED products, i.e. LED strip lights, require an external power supply. These come in two formats, either with an AC cord attached, similar to a laptop power supply or they need to be connected to an outlet.
It is recommended to have a licensed electrician perform any installation that requires electrical connections to the line voltage.
Do pay attention to the product label, it will indicate if a power supply is required or not.
Install LEDs where you’ll use them most
LED bulbs are still expensive and so, unless you have the budget to replace all the bulbs in your home at once, you’ll have to replace bulbs as they burn out. In the long run, your investment will pay you back in energy savings.
But, as Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has learned, it matters where you use your LED bulbs if you hope your investment will repay you soon. Put an LED in your closet, for example, or another place where the bulb is seldom used, and it may be years and years before the bulb’s cost is repaid in energy savings. It’s best to use your LEDs where the payoff will be fastest, in the light fixtures that get most use in the high-traffic parts of your home.
Get the light color you want
If you were turned off by the harsh white quality of light from older LEDs you’ll be glad to know there are more options now. LED bulbs offer a range of colors, from a warmer yellow-white, akin to the color of incandescent bulbs, to a whiter white or blueish white.
Match the bulb shape to your fixture
LED bulbs come in a number of unfamiliar shapes. You’ll find spiral bulbs, different types of globes, spotlights, floodlights and some shaped like candle flames. One useful shape is the MR16, a smallish, cone-shaped bulb.
Which bulb will work in your can lights? Which is best for the ceiling-fan light? For a table lamp? This brief, illustrated Energy Star guide and EarthEnergy’s bulb guide show which shapes work best in various types of fixtures.
Choose the right bulb for dimmers
Another problem with LEDs used to be finding bulbs that were compatible with the dimmer switches in your home. Some buzz, flicker or just fail to respond to a dimmer switch.
Those still can be problems, but CNET tested bulbs and has a recommendation. The Philips 60-watt LED performed best. It’s easily found in stores, but don’t confuse it with the less-expensive Philips SlimStyle LED, which buzzed badly in a dimmer (although it may be good for other uses). The Philips bulb isn’t the only solution. Read bulbs’ packaging to find the ones recommended for use with dimmer switches.
The solution is to buy a dimmer switch rated for both CFL and LED bulbs. Two reputable manufacturers of CFL/LED dimmers are Leviton and Lutron; both provide lists of bulbs they’ve verified will work with their dimmers.
Initially when LED bulbs came out with no standards, manufacturers would claim lifetimes of 100,000 hours with no real testing. Since then the standard has been to scale back to 50,000 hours so as not to over-state claims. (Beware of bulbs that are rated at 100,000 hours unless they state specifically WHY they are rated at so high manufacturing process, heat sink materials etc., I would be wary of trusting this rating).
The lifetime of an LED lamp is generally considered to be the point where the light output has declined to 70% of its initial output, measured in lumens. So, a 300 lumen LED bulb with a lifespan of 50,000 hours will have 2lumens at the end of its lifetime. However, the lifetime of a bulb does not mean it is unusable, only that its light output has degraded to a certain point. The LED bulb may continue to be useful for several thousand hours past its stated lifetime. Unlike old-fashioned light bulbs, it is extremely rare for an LED light to simply burn out. Rather, it will gradually fade over time.
You can see that Cree is by far the brightest. However, there are multiple factors, besides the LED chip that determine the brightness of an LED bulb including the power supply and optics (the lens or lenses that are used to diffuse the light).
Start Using LEDs Now!
LEDs are not a good alternative for all bulbs in a business. Depending on the situation, they make sense in some places more than others. The more people who adopt LEDs, the quicker prices will come down. There is no doubt that as prices come down, and efficiency/light output of the bulbs increase, in a couple of years every light bulb in the world will be an LED Light bulb and CFLs and incandescent will be a thing of the past. The initial investment may be a little hard to swallow, but in the long run, youll be doing your part for the environment and your wallet and making the world a cleaner, greener, cooler place to live one bulb at a time for generations to come.
It’s extremely unlikely you’d buy a new car without first taking it for a spin. Even if you’re familiar with the model, there are always subtle differences between each car; in addition, you can often opt in to a variety of packages and combinations.
It’s the same when considering your dimmable options. While it might seem costly and time-consuming, always test the system first. Take heart, though: given the recent advancements in and popularity of LED lighting and dimming, many manufacturers have been testing a variety of installations mimicking real-life environments, so the research may have already been done for you.
How important is the color of your car to you? Would it affect your purchasing decision? And, with exterior and interior options, selecting the right combination might take a while. Color can affect your feelings toward your car and how others on the road perceive you.
Similarly, when considering your dimming needs, the flexibility of LED lighting has been linked to everything from increased productivity and inspiration in the workplace, to creating ambience and comfort that are often essential in both residential and commercial spaces including offices, theaters and restaurants.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your led dimmer switches wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of led dimmer switches
- №1 — Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch
- №2 — Lutron DVCL-153P-WH Diva Dimmer for CFL
- №3 — LUTRON TGCL-153PH-WH Toggler Dimmer Switch for LED