Any homeowner will tell you that a cozy household is all about atmosphere. And while it’s not necessarily the most crucial leg of the homemaking process, swapping out your old light switches for LED dimmers can add a relaxing atmosphere to any room.
While it may be tempting to purchase the first LED dimmer switch you set your sights on, there are plenty of things to consider before making your final decision. First thing’s first: Determine how much money you’re willing to part with. As well as how many features like Amazon Alexa compatibility you’re looking for in an LED light dimmer switch.
Since dimmer switches run the gamut from a few dollars to nearly a hundred, deciding on an ideal purchase more or less comes down to your budget. With this in mind, read on for our best LED dimmer switches to buy in 2021.
Insteon SwitchLinc 2 Remote Control Dimmer: Best Overall
The Insteon SwitchLinc is very hard to beat when delivering an atmospheric lighting experience to every household. This nifty dimmer, which can control up to 600 watts, can be controlled via your remote control, smartphone, computer, or Amazon Alexa (via the Insteon hub). Happy buyers love having the ability to control their house’s lighting via their iPads with the tap of a finger.
The Insteon SwitchLinc even remembers your brightness settings for the busy homeowner who doesn’t have time to fiddle with their light switches all day. It comes in various colors to choose from, including white, almond, black and gray.
Satisfied buyers with Alexa-controlled smart homes compare this dimmer switch to a “workhorse.” On the other hand, some buyers, while satisfied, report that installation of this product can be a hassle if you’re not experienced with Dual Band technology. You could always opt for Amazon’s expert installation services. While this would set you back a pretty penny, it would also ensure that your new Insteon SwitchLinc dimmer switch is appropriately integrated into your high-tech home.
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Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch: Best Budget
The Philips Hue Smart is a great starter kit for those who want to replace their homes’ worn-out light switches with remote-controlled LED dimmers without breaking the bank in the process. Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, and Nest and Samsung SmartThings systems. This dimmer switch boasts a large variety of high-end features that won’t push you over-budget.
A tap of your fingertips on your smartphone, and voila! You can even customize your dimmer to react differently depending upon how you interact with the switch. For instance, customers describe how they’ve programmed their lights to dim to a certain percentage at one tap, then turn a different color at another tap, and so on.
Whether you prefer a warm glow or a cool, drowsy hue, this dimmer switch lets you adjust the lighting in your home to the level of your choosing. Ironically, many of Philips’ happiest customers appreciate this fixture’s ability to be controlled via the wall unit itself instead of by remote. Thus bridging the gap between traditional wall switch and high-tech, remote-controlled fixture.
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Lutron Maestro Companion Dimmer: Runner-Up, Best Budget
Philips isn’t the only producer of budget-friendly light dimmer switches on the market; Lutron is one of the biggest names in the game. Their Maestro Companion is an affordable light dimmer switch that combines an unbeatable price with stable performance. It even boasts the ability to set up multi-room lighting by wiring it in conjunction with additional companion dimmers via a multi-location dimmer.
The Lutron Maestro companion is an excellent alternative to higher-end models. According to the testimonies of happy customers, Lutron’s dimmer is best utilized in combination with other Lutron Maestro products. This process effectively streamlines your lighting, allowing the lights in multiple rooms to be controlled from a “master” switch.
Suppose you do intend to utilize the Maestro Companion Dimmer for multi-room lighting. In that case, it’s probably best to consult with a professional first or immediately before trying to install it yourself. This will help you determine precisely what you need to create the perfect multi-room setup for your home. After all, according to customers, Lutron’s instructions aren’t exactly the clearest around.
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Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit: Best Smart Dimmer Starter Kit
Setting up a single dimmer in your home is one thing optimizing the lighting in your entire home is another. For the complete package, look no further than Lutron’s Caseta Starter Kit. This combo pack truly feels straight out of the future, and it comes bursting with everything you need to transform your outdated house into the 21st century smart home.
Inside this package, you’ll find one smart bridge required to extend dimming capabilities to other rooms along with one wall smart dimmer and its corresponding wall plate, as well as one Pico remote for optimum control over your home’s ambiance. The Caseta can also be controlled remotely using Alexa or an app such as Ecobee, Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech, Samsung SmartThings, or Apple HomeKit. Yes, that means you can even order Siri to adjust your lights.
While Lutron claims its products can be set up easily in 15 minutes or so, some buyers disagree. They are claiming that a basic knowledge of electrical wiring and current technology is necessary. In other words, if you’re not an experienced DIYer, chances are a professional installation is the way to go with the Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit.
Leviton Decora Smart LED Dimmer: Best Smart Dimmer Single Switch
Whether you’ve reached the lighting portion of your attic finishing project or simply want to add a modern touch to a classic-style study, not every home needs a whole system dedicated to house-wide lighting. Sometimes a strategically placed light controlled by a single Leviton Decora Smart LED Dimmer switch makes all the difference when adding a touch of elegant ambiance to any space.
The Leviton Decora Smart LED Dimmer switch is an excellent entry into the world of Wi-Fi-controlled lighting. It allows users to raise and lower their lights using their personal iOS or Android devices. That means not having to install a separate bulky hub, even if you do want to install multiple switches across your home for uniform lighting.
With a variety of additional unique features such as auto-shutoff, home vs. away mode, and customizable settings that auto-adjust depending on the time of day, this fixture is a veritable must-have for aesthetically-oriented homeowners everywhere.
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Lutron Skylark Dimmer: Best Basic Dimmer
Every homeowner has their own idea of what constitutes a cozy home. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t always include a lighting system controlled via Wi-Fi. Lutron’s Skylark Dimmer is an old-school dimmer operated manually by a sliding lever that’s ideal for the elderly and homeowners without access to smartphones. Adjusting your LED lights with this easy-to-install switch is a cinch: slide it up to brighten the room, slide it down to dim your lights. It’s that simple.
This Lutron Skylark Dimmer isn’t just ideal for dimming lights, though. According to reviewers, it can also be hooked up to a ceiling fan for easy access to cool air without struggling to reach the chain.
Customers are raving about the simplicity with which this dimmer operates and how easy it is to install for those without electrical training. All in all, the Lutron Skylark Dimmer is perfect for homeowners without the need for a high-tech household.
Lutron Credenza Dimmer: Best Plug-In Dimmer
There’s a reason Lutron’s name has cropped up on this list over and over, and that’s because they manufacture a wide selection of reliable and versatile products. Depending on your living situation, you may not be able or allowed to replace your light switch. This is where Lutron’s Credenza Dimmer, a dimmer that can be plugged into an outlet, comes in handy. Perfect for lamps and smaller light fixtures, this dimmer works with up to 100-watt LEDs and 250-watt incandescent and halogen bulbs.
No wiring is required with this dimmer. Simply plug it into the wall and then plug your lamp into the dimmer. It’s an easy, stress-free process that takes mere seconds. This kind of dimmer switch is a perfect gift idea for the college student in your life. After all, they can’t precisely swap out their dorm light switch, and the ability to dim their desk lamp means they can study all night without waking their roommates.
Buying Guide for the Best LED Dimmer Switches
Factors to Consider
There are 5 factors you should consider when deciding how to choose the best dimmer switch.
- Total Watts
- Dimmer Type
- Dimmer Control Style
- Which Bulbs the Dimmer Will Control
- Smart Technology
How to Choose the Best Dimmer Switch
Dimmer switches are not the same. Knowing how to choose a dimmer switch is an essential step in transforming any room into something spectacular.
Home lighting is more than just screwing in a light bulb and flipping a switch. It’s an art, and the lighting you pick will differ not only from room to room but also within each of the rooms depending upon the feel or look and mood you are going for.
You may want to have your living room well lit when the kids are playing but then prefer the lights dimmed down while watching a movie or having a party at home. Dimmers will play a massive role in fine-tuning the type of lighting you need for each situation. If you do not choose the right dimmer for the lightbulbs you are using, then you may get a humming or buzzing sound when you dim them. Knowing how to select a dimmer switch will be critical and will make a big difference.
Choosing the Right Dimmer for LED Lighting
LED light systems have tons of top-rated dimmers designed for best performance when used in homes. Different brands offer different dimming experiences. Some of them have several dimming modes that enable smooth dimming when used along with LED bulbs.
The brightness level achieved will differ from brand to brand for a LED lamp. Keeping this in mind, you should know that some of the best LED light dimmers of today do offer some level of flexibility. You can set the minimum and maximum brightness level very quickly on a LED light dimmer switch.
This will give you control and will ensure that the dimmer does not “under-throttle” or “over-throttle” your lighting system. This added feature helps prevent an unstable lux from the lighting unit.
With both bulb and dimmer technology evolving so quickly, every light switch will be controlled by a dimmer at some point in the future. An integral part of home décor is adjusting the light levels in every room depending upon your mood. Lighting was once ignored and now is a critical element in bringing an added dimension to your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Would You Want a Dimmer?
A LED dimmer switch is the perfect way to add mood lighting to a room. The dimmers can also be set in a place where you want to have a certain amount of light in a preferred room at all times. Using a dimmer switch is a great way to fine-tune that to where you want it every time.
Dimmers can also be used to control ceiling fans instead of lights. This is a fantastic way to slow down the fan blades to exactly the speed you want without pulling a chain to get a pre-set speed.
What Does a Dimmer Do?
A dimmer allows you to regulate the number of lumens the bulbs will give off rather than just each bulb’s full strength.
What wattage is needed for a dimmer switch?
You need to add up the bulbs’ total watts that the switch will control and then select the switch to handle those total watts.
How Do Dimmers Work?
Dimmers may vary in how they operate internally. Think about the current of electricity as a stable stream or flow similar to what you get from a faucet. When you adjust the dimmer control, it starts to chop up the signal. The stream of electricity will break up in shorter increments as you slide the dimmer control. This signal chopping will reduce the amount of electricity that the bulbs will receive, which will cause them to dim.
Dimmers will work differently depending upon which bulbs you have installed, which is why it is essential to learn how to choose a dimmer switch for your particular situation.
How can Light Bulbs be used with a Dimmer?
Dimmer switches have a minimum and maximum rating (Watts). LED loading cannot be calculated the same way as a standard incandescent or a mains halogen light bulbs. A good rule of thumb to apply is to take the maximum rating of the dimmer switch and divide it by 10. For example, suppose you have a dimmer switch with a maximum rating of 400W (rule of thumb translates to 40W). In that case, you can run five 7.1W dimmable LED light bulbs (see example below for further explanation).
Are LED bulbs dimmable?
Not always. Unlike halogen bulbs (that can all be dimmed), LED bulbs come in dimmable and non-dimmable varieties, so you will need to purchase dimmable LED bulbs. When purchasing dimmable LED bulbs, you must also understand leading-edge dimmer switches vs. trailing-edge dimmer switches. A leading-edge switch is designed for traditional light bulbs. The high minimum load will work to an extent with LED bulbs, but they will not perform correctly. Trailing-edge switches are designed for LED bulbs. The low minimum load gives a range of 0.5% – 100%, so you get a much more consistent performance.
Do LED lights require a special dimmer switch?
You must use an LED dimmer switch, but also, your LED bulbs must be dimmable. LED lights need to be compatible with the dimmer switch.
Last update on 2021-03-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API