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DIMMING LED LIGHT BULBS

Light Bulb

Why do my LED bulbs not dim? Why do my brand new LED bulbs flicker and strobe when dimmed?

Have you found yourself asking any of the above questions? If so, hopefully, this article will help answer them.

First off, not all LED bulbs are created equal! Some are made to be dimmable and others aren’t. You’ll find dimmable LED bulbs to be a bit more expensive but the right equipment will cause no issues. So now you have your new dimmable LED bulbs and you’ve replaced them with the old halogen or incandescent lights but now when they’re dimmed they flicker or strobe. This is because of the way the LED light bulbs work.       

With incandescent light bulbs, there’s a small filament which gets hot and then glows bright which is where the light comes from. If you reduce the voltage by turning the dimmer down then less voltage flows through the filament giving a dimmer glow. With LED light bulbs, however, they’re a little more complicated and have various electronic components to them and thus require a different type of dimmer. A trailing-edge dimmer to be specific.

Another reason your new LED light bulbs could be flicker is that the minimum load of the dimmer has not been met. Let me give you an example. If you have six 50 watt halogen bulbs, that totals 300 watts. If you replace them with LED equivalents, they will likely be 5 watts each, totalling 30 watts. Dimmers will have a minimum wattage that they will work at. If your dimmer has a minimum load of 100 watts, then the 30 watts of the LED bulbs are not enough and the dimmer may not function correctly. In this instance, you’ll need an LED specific dimmer. The minimum loads are usually printed on a sticker on the back of the dimmer itself.

If you need help from your local electrician in Southampton then get in touch!

Grant Frampton

Frampton & Son Electrical Contractors

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