Why You Should Consider Dimmable CFL and LED Light Bulbs

January 28, 20126 comments

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.


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Showing 6 comments

  1. Home improvements Reply

    They have different kinds of energy efficient dimmer light bulbs out now

  2. Phil Hardy Reply

    Yes you can find dimmable LED light bulbs, for under $10.00. I have largely retrofitted my home with LED bulbs this year, and am very happy with them. They use 85% less power, on average, compared to incandescent light bulbs. They have longevity approaching 25,000 hours or more. They will definitely pay for themselves, eventually.

  3. Pierre Bourdon Reply

    To save more money and to be more effective, they should have an CL dimmer with a built-in programmable electronic timer with a lot of on-off cycle. I wouldn’t mind pay the price for such device. Unfortunately I didn’t find any even for regular light bulb. I had to use electronic timer paired with a very good and reliable dimmer… The price… close of $150, but it takes 2 device to do so.

  4. Green Reply

    This is really neat! I didn't really know about dimmable LED bulbs but then I visited the site Cindy suggested and found out how many different varieties there are. I'd be curious to see how they work out for other people too. I've done some research and saw that issues sometimes arose with LEDs after they dimmed past 50%. Has anyone else found this issue? Does it affect lighting quality? Thanks!

  5. Jay Walker Reply

    Before I started my own business I didn't think something like finding light bulbs would be important. However, now with rising energy costs I did my homework and shopped around and found that there is a great selection of light bulbs online.

  6. Cindy D Reply

    My husband and I are in the process of building our dream kitchen! We just bought dimmable LED light bulbs from gogreenledbulbs.com because our contractor suggested them. This is the first site we’ve found dimmers to go with these bulbs. Has anyone installed dimming LED light bulbs in their home? Thoughts?

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