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Frequently asked questions

Can I dim any LED light bulb?

All dimmable LED bulb should come with some form dimmable insignia on the packaging or online product specification, if it’s a non-dimmable LED lamp the dimmable insignia might have a line running through it, or simply say non-dimmable.At The LED Specialist we only stock products from leading reputable brands and you will be able to verify which kind of lamp you are purchasing dimmable or non-dimmable.Whilst you cannot use a non-dimmable light in a dimmer circuit to alter light output you can still use a dimmable bulb in a non-dimmer standard circuit.

Can I use my existing dimmer switches to dim my LED bulbs?

This relatively depends on the type of dimmer you will be using to dim your LED light bulbs. If you have upgraded from incandescent or halogen light bulbs to modern energy efficient LED’s then it is likely that the existing dimmer in play is a leading-edge dimmer, which won’t work with LED. We go into more detail on the differences between leading-edge and trailing edge dimmers below.

What is the difference between a trailing edge dimmer and a leading edge dimmer?

The biggest difference between these 2 dimmer switches is the load capacity, leading-Edge dimmer switches were originally designed to handle the higher resistant load of incandescent and halogen lighting. Most leading edge dimmer switches have a relatively high minimum load which often rules out their use with LED light bulbs which have a much lower energy consumption.Trailing-edge dimmer modules are more modern and have many benefits over leading-edge dimmers, these include smoother dimming with less buzzing and interference. The majority of mains trailing edge dimmers can be used to dim most dedicated LED fixtures when coupled with a mains-dimmable driver.

What Gang do I need?

The gang is the number of switches or knobs on the dimmer. If you only have one light fitting in a room, all you need is a single-gang dimmer switch. If you have multiple lights, for example multiple spotlights, or a ceiling and wall light, you can dim them independently by using dimmer switches with more than one gang.When using dimmer switches with 2 or more gangs, you must ensure that all connected LED lamps are dimmable to avoid flickering or other interference.

What are minimum and maximum loads?

Traditionally dimmer switches have a minimum load that needs to be met to ensure that the switch operates smoothly. Take for example a dimmer switch with a minimum load of 10 watts will need a bulb or bulbs tatalling a minimum of 10W connected to it for it to function correctly. Anything less than that may produce flickering or choppy dimming.

How do I calculate the maximum load of a dimmer switch?

The low wattage of LED bulbs means you could theoretically connect multiple bulbs to the same dimmer switch. For example, if you have a dimmer switch with a maximum load of 500W, surely you could connect 100 x 5W LED bulbs to it (100 x 5W = 500W)? However, this is not the case. LED light bulbs produce a surge (or spike) of energy when turned on that may temporarily exceed the bulb's wattage rating. The load for LED dimmers is divided by the maximum listed load by 10. For example, a 500W dimmer switch should not have more than 50W LED bulbs connected, which would equate to ten 5W bulbs.