CFL and LED Light Bulbs.
Photo Credit: CFL and LED light bulbs; Lutron Electronics

As a designer, I’m a big proponent of dimmers because they help add focus and ambiance to any room. Dimmers are a fairly inexpensive way to immediately customize an existing lighting installation.

Now with incandescent light bulbs phasing out and new CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs coming into our homes, some problems arise with existing dimmer switches.

Can You Dim CFL and LED Light Bulbs?

An early and common misconception is that CFL and LED light bulbs can’t be dimmed. You can dim CFL and LED light bulbs if they are the dimmable variety. And by adding a dimmer instead of just a light switch, you can save up to $50 a year according to Lutron Electronics, a lighting control manufacturer.

However, some of the first CFL and LED bulbs were not manufactured to be dimmable; this created issues with standard incandescent light switches. Sometimes the bulb wouldn’t turn on or off completely with the dimmer. In other cases it would flicker to maintain any light at all.

Lutron now has CL Dimmers that work with the new dimmable CFL and LED bulb technology. Even with voltage fluctuation, the light will stay on consistently. These new switches offer an adjustment dial inside the switch so that the homeowner can match the performance of the bulb specifically.

Lutron Electronics CL Dimmers
Photo Credit: Lutron Electronics CL Dimmers

Lutron dimmers are easy to install and available at just about any big box store across the country. The pay back for the dimmer cost is less than a year’s purchase so it makes dollar and green sense today.