Importance of Dimmer and Bulb Compatibility

Are you interested in purchasing dimmers to control your lighting?

Dimmers can provide many benefits such as helping create ambiance by allowing you to adjust light levels, they reduce energy consumption which allows your bulbs to have a longer life, and they can help lower your electric bills. With the wide variety of bulbs now available on the market, it is important to choose a dimmer wisely since not all dimmers are designed to control all types of bulbs. If the dimmers and bulbs are incompatible you will experience lights flickering and fluttering, limited dimming range, slow start-up, and inconsistent illumination. To avoid these issues it is important to know the features of the types of dimmers available and compare them to your needs and the type of bulb you wish to use.

Dimmer Type

When to Use

Universal

Universal Dimmers are designed to control incandescent, halogen, dimmable LED and dimmable CFL bulbs. They offer full-range dimming, smooth start-up, and eliminate flickering and fluttering of lights. When using LED or CFL bulbs with a dimmer, be sure that the packaging on the bulb indicates that it is DIMMABLE. Most dimmer and bulb manufacturers provide bulb compatibility information on their websites that can be referenced to ensure that the brand/type of dimmer chosen will function properly with the bulb selected.

Incandescent/Halogen

 

Incandescent/Halogen Dimmers are designed to control incandescent and halogen bulbs. They are not designed to control LED and CFL bulbs nor dimmable LED and CFL bulbs and using them to do so may result in inconsistent or limited performance. Additionally, incandescent dimmers are not safety listed with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to control LED and CFL bulbs nor dimmable LED and CFL bulbs.

Electronic Low Voltage Dimmer (ELV)

ELV Dimmers control electronic low voltage transformers (ELVs) and dimmable LED power supplies such as those found in ELV track lighting, under cabinet lighting and LED strips. ELV Dimmers require a neutral wire for installation.

Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmer (MLV)

MLV Dimmers are suitable for recessed lights which are most often magnetic low voltage. Magnetic low voltage lights tend to be larger and heavier than electronic low voltage.

Fluorescent

Fluorescent Dimmers control only fluorescent fixtures that incorporate rapid start fluorescent lamps and dimming ballasts.

High Wattage Dimmers

Dimming devices specifically designed to control high wattage lighting, generally 1000W. It is recommended, however, that a 1000W dimmer be used to control any lighting exceeding 600W. This would include large chandeliers or recessed lighting that controls multiple bulbs with total wattage exceeding 600W.

Dimming Sensor

This innovative device combines the lighting level control of a dimmer with the energy savings and convenience of a motion sensor. It is compatible with dimmable LED, dimmable CFL, incandescent and halogen bulbs.

By |2018-02-07T15:45:20+00:00April 12th, 2017|Safety and Energy Saving Tips|Comments Off on Importance of Dimmer and Bulb Compatibility