Dimmable led bulbs: how to correctly choose and install a dimmer

Among the many possible solutions for energy saving, one of the simplest is to choose light bulbs with a dimmer or dimmable bulbs that allow you to adjust the brightness avoiding intense lights when there is no need.


dimmable led bulbs and drawing graphs at background


Today, many floor or table lamps are available in dimmer versions. To improve the energy efficiency of the central lights of a room, it is possible to carry out a series of operations, up to the installation of light regulators instead of simple switches.

To improve the energy impact, especially in the use of chandeliers and main lighting sources, it is advisable to focus on LED bulbs, which guarantee a high-low power consumption. Moreover, when purchasing LED bulbs, it is important to purchase those that are dimmable, which can be used in lamps and chandeliers with intensity regulators.


What is a dimmer?


A dimmer is a simple technology that has been on the market for many years now, but only in recent times, has gained more importance due to the increasing interest in energy savings.

It is a tool that allows you to adjust the light so that you can choose the intensity in a particular room as needed. The variation in the lamp power supply voltage is carried out via an electronic circuit that can be operated by pressure or by rotating a knob.

It is important to highlight that very often, when talking about dimmers, we refer to the external knob, which only allows to switch the lamp on or off. To be precise, the dimmer is the method of adjusting the lamp load.


3 technologies to adjust the light intensity


bulb lit


As a matter of fact, there are three main technologies that allow you to create a more or less intense light with a controller: the ascending, the descending and the reverse phase technologies.

Knowing the difference between the controllers that exploit a technology or another, is crucial to be able to properly choose the bulbs to be used.


  • The ascending phase dimmer, for example, can be used for BT and CFL lamps, and for 230 V LEDs.


  • However, the descending phase is the best with all LED bulbs.


  • Finally, dimmers using reverse phase are particularly suitable for creating multiple control systems, especially in the case of halogen lamps or LEDs.


Choose the appropriate dimmer


hands trying to reach a drawing bulb


When buying a light bulb, it is essential to check the features of the lamp or of the chandelier on which the bulb will be installed, i.e. the dimmer features. Only in this way you can be sure you are using the bulbs correctly.

Considering the different models of regulators and bulbs, it goes without saying that there are many possibilities to combine dimmers and bulbs. Therefore, it is very important to pay close attention to the indications that are reported on both the controller and the bulbs.

To better manage the existing lighting system in a specific room, first, when you wish to install a light regulator, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of the bulbs that are regularly used on the chandelier or on the lamp that you wish to modify.

Therefore, the power of the lamp/s should be defined, you should know the type of bulbs and, above all, you have to evaluate the range of brightness variations you wish. There are, in fact, a large number of dimmers on the market that cannot offer every different possible brightness with a certain type of bulb. We are talking about very cheap products, offering low-level performances.

In this case, the risk is that you won’t be able to get different levels of brightness but you would also get several failures leading you to greater spending rather than savings.

That is why it is fundamental to pay attention to the brand of the dimmer that guarantees the quality of the dimmer itself. Moreover, if you address to an expert technician for installing the dimmer, you also avoid to mistaken pairing between dimmers and bulbs.


How to install a dimmer


Those who have a basic technical knowledge, can proceed autonomously and install their own dimmers.

Of course, all operations must be done after disconnecting the electric current, so as not to cause deadly accidents.

You can then proceed by replacing the classic switch with the drive.

The connection between the regulator and the two electrical wires must be carried out in such a way as to ensure the correct flow of electricity, i.e. by inserting them into the terminals and locking them by tightening the screws.

The screwing must be made in such a way as to ensure a good cable safety, without being too tight, since in this case, you could risk breaking the electrical cables. On the contrary, if you are screwing too slowly, the wires may come out of the terminals by interrupting the transmission of the electric current.
When connecting the cables, the knob which makes the variation of the brightness possible must be completely turned: this will ensure the position of light off, while its maximum rotation will coincide with full lighting.


Technology, home automation and design


dimmable led bulbs

Image credits: Elle Decor

As mentioned above, choosing to install a dimmer to adjust the lighting of a room or the whole apartment means energy savings.

However, the success of dimmers is not only because of their technical and power features but also because of their aesthetic.

There are more and more models that perfectly fit with furniture design, becoming an integral part of the furniture itself.

Moreover, the possibility to modify the light intensity of a room depending on what you are looking fore i.e. a moment of relaxation or whether you need more lighting, has led more and more people to choose dimmed lighting.


The latest generation dimmers are compatible with the best home automation systems, thus allowing remote control.

Of course, to be sure to correctly use the bulb and the dimmer system, you should never forget to check both features, to ensure a correct operation and, above all, to avoid damages to the lamp or to the whole lighting system. Also be aware of buzzes, noise, or voltage drops that may indicate a malfunction of the dimmer installed.


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