Chris Primous is the Vice President of OEM sales and Industry Relations at MaxLite. He is a recognized energy-efficient lighting industry expert, educator, and champion for the lighting manufacturing industry with programs such as ENERGY STAR, California Title 24 and Title 20.
Which bulbs will work on which dimmers?
How do I know if it is compatible?
With all of the options available to consumers and installers for various light bulbs and controls, it is easy to become confused about which bulbs can be properly controlled or dimmed by which dimmer.
FIRST – MAKE SURE THAT THE BULB IS DIMMABLE
Dimming information should be clearly visible on the bulb packaging, website info, or datasheet. Bulb manufacturers typically provide a list of dimmers that are compatible with their specific bulb.
Most bulbs that are NOT dimmable will have markings on the packaging or actual bulb itself that states “Not for use with dimmers.”
With regards to LED bulb technology in particular, although just about all LED bulbs can be made to be dimmable, in certain cases to reduce prices, the dimmable features are removed in the product design.
SECOND – SELECT A DIMMER CONTROL THAT IS DESIGNED TO DIM THE TYPE OF BULB TECHNOLOGY YOU ARE USING.
Most newer dimmers will specify which type of load the dimmer is designed to control. The dimmer may state that it is designed for INCANDESCENT, CFL, or LED bulbs. For best results, it is recommended that you only utilize a dimmer designed specifically for the bulb type. For example, if you are using a LED bulb, be sure to utilize a dimmer that states it is designed for LED bulbs.