Can I Use An Incandescent Dimmer With Led Lights?


Dimmers are a common feature in many homes, and it allows people to adjust their lighting to fit their mood.

However, homeowners who choose to substitute incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting sources like incandescent to LEDs.

When connected to current incandescent dimmer controls your LED bulbs, dimming features may not work or if they do work, it may not function the way you wanted. It is best to purchase dimmers that are compatible with your LEDs.

How Do Dimmers Work?

 incandescent dimmers

With a dimmer switch, you can adjust the brightness of your bulb. Most homes use dimmers to conserve energy or simply control their lighting setting.

Apart from this, you can connect your dimmers to apps or smart home devices and automatically raise or lower your lamp brightness. Dimmer switches such as Philips Hue or Lutron Caseta offer additional features such as timers and schedules.

A simple dimmer switch decreases the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit to dim the brightness of a lamp. Modern dimmer switches operate differently.

Modern dimmers turn on and off the energy that is flowing through a light’s circuit. When this occurs, energy is diverted away from the light bulb. In turn, it decreases the electrical current that flows through the bulb.

When combined with regular dimmer switches, even dimmer-compatible LED bulbs will not dim as low as incandescent light. Traditional dimmer switches require a minimum of wattage to function properly, and as a result, LED bulbs can not work at all.

LED Bulbs And Incandescent Bulbs Have Different Color Temperature

LED bulbs have a different color temperature from incandescent bulbs. Therefore, when they dim they produce a warmer color compared to LEDs which doesn’t change color.

Dimmer Options

The best option is to swap out your old dimmer switch for LED-compatible ones. While a dimmable LED bulb is still needed, it is likely to perform better than a dimmable bulb on a standard switch.

Types Of Dimmers

Dimmer switches with on/off functions provide better power control and reduce cost, that’s why they are a popular option.

  • Integrated dimmer switches-There uses wireless technology but operates manually as well. These dimmers are popular in smart homes and security systems.
  • Touch screen dimmer switches–These are also a common choice for modern homes and are installed on the walls of your home.
  • Slide dimmer-These switches allow you to control your bulb brightness by sliding the switch back and forth.
  • Rotary Dimmer–They can manually control dimmers, but you can use the on/off switch as well.

The Best Dimmer Switches For LEDs

Here are some excellent choices below while they are expensive, it is better to purchase a modern dimmer switch.

Lutron Diva LED+ dimmer switch 

Lutron Diva LED+ dimmer switch

Check out the Lutron Diva LED+ dimmer switch if you want your LED bulbs to dim without flickering. It works with most LED bulbs and can power up to 17 bulbs on a single switch.

This LED bulb dimmer switch does not need a neutral wire and can be used in single-pole or places with three-way switches. It works with LED and can also be used with incandescent or halogen bulbs.

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Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch

Say hello to the Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch it is an inexpensive option and perfect for a single-pole setup (a light powered by only one switch).

The Kasa app allows you to monitor your home’s lighting using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana devices without the use of a hub. However, you’ll need a neutral wire for installation.

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The Lutron Toggler Dimmer

This toggle-style dimmer switch makes it easier to control the brightness of the LED and traditional bulbs. The Lutron Toggler Dimmer has 250 lighting levels and is more than just an “on” or “off” switch.

It works with single-pole or three-way wiring and is compatible with most common wall plates. Plus, you don’t need a neutral wire.

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Maxxima Dimmer Electrical Switch

Get the Maxxima Dimmer Electrical Switch at a bargain price with the wall plate included. They are not only compatible with LEDs but other bulbs, including CFL and halogens.

This dimmer switch allows you to adjust your bulb brightness with ease: super beginner-friendly.

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To Recap

In some instances, incandescent dimmers work with LEDs but if they are not the versatile switches I recommend above, they may not work with your LED lights.

Because LEDs compatible dimmers work differently from your traditional bulbs: if they do work, they will not function the way you envision.

I am a wife and mom with two kids. I am also a writer, avid DIYer, and tech enthusiast. My favorite things are writing, shopping online for gadgets, and gizmos I can’t afford (yet). Being at home with my kids is the best part of my day!

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