LED lights and dimmer compatibility


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Old 12-28-14, 04:15 PM
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LED lights and dimmer compatibility

Changed lights in office from (4) 65W incandescent floods to (4) Sylvania led9br30/dim/827 which were pretty cheap. It turns out the dimmer, at its lowest setting will leave the room about as bright as the old bulbs were at full blast. Seems the dimmer is not compatible with these bulbs. As a test, I used Phillips bulbs from another room, and they work like a champ, dimming to almost nothing. As another test, I left on of the incandescent bulbs in, and the dimmer worked perfectly, so it looks like there is some sort of resistance issue going on.

Of course, the Phillips bulbs are $20 a pop, where the Sylvania are about $7. I have 3 more rooms I'd like to convert, so using these cheaper bulbs would be a big plus.

Can anyone point me to a compatible dimmer ?. I looked in Sylvania's website, and their own PDF doesn't even list this bulb.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 06:04 PM
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Not all LED lamps are dimmable. I suspect that your less expensive ones fall in this category.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 06:08 PM
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Look at the fine print on the bulb ballast itself. Unless it says for use in a dimmer then you can't use it.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 06:57 PM
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If you were to try replacing the dimmer..... try a Lutron Maestro C/L. Available at the box stores and supply houses. I've found them to be the best dimmers for non incandescent bulbs.

Lutron Maestro® Dimmer and Switch Overview
 
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Old 12-29-14, 12:58 AM
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Even with the proper dimmer don't expect your LED's to dim fully. LED's can maybe be dimmed down to 5 - 10%. Depending on size of your room, this 10% can look pretty bright.
We've have other threads like this where the original poster was disappointed with the results of dimming. This may be a case of trial and error.
If the Philips bulbs you tested are LED, and they dimmed, I would consider using them even though they're expensive.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 05:50 AM
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The bulbs are clearly dimmable, since it says so in the package, the model number contains "dim", and they actually do dim, just not as far down as I would like (like the Phillips). Reading around, I came across "minimum loads" for legacy dimmers of about 40 watts. With (4) 9 watt bulbs in the gang, I am not reaching the 40....could that be the problem ?. This seems somewhat supported (in my untrained, unskilled mind) by the fact that if I take out one LED bulb and replace with one of the old incandescent ones, then the dimming works perfect with the LEDs and the regular going waaaay down. The only problem is 3 are one color and the 1 is a different color. I am guessing the presence of the incandescent puts me over the threshold the dimmer wants to see. Am I even close here ?.

The dimmer is a Lutron, (not sure of model) but the markings on it say something like "400W for 3 or more gang", so I am guessing 10% of 400 is 40, therefore 40W.

The Phillips are 11 watt bulbs, so that would put me at 44 watts which would explain the difference.

I know in the overall scheme of things, this is a drop in the bucket, but I find it to be an interesting problem and if solved, this thread could help others in the same situation. I can see where this is a common problem.

@PJMax I was looking at that Maestro dimmer. If you recommend it, that is good enough for me. Will give it a shot.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 07:55 AM
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Changed lights in office from (4) 65W incandescent floods to (4) Sylvania led9br30/dim/827 which were pretty cheap.
Is this really a Sylvania lamp or is it distributed by Sylvania? Check the small print, does it say anything about LG Sourcing?
 
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Old 12-29-14, 08:40 AM
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Not reaching the required minimum load on the dimmer can definitely be a problem.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 10:57 AM
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There is no reference to LG anywhere on the bulb.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 11:01 AM
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Went to HD and bought the MACL-153M dimmer from Lutron. Will try this evening and report.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 02:03 PM
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Update: the dimmer did not work out of the box either however, it did dim the lights slightly further than the old one.

Will have to try the adjustment instructions that came with the switch and I neglected to read. There may be hope yet if I am able to adjust the low end which per the instructions should be pretty easy to do.

Need to wait for daylight.
 

Last edited by fxcarden; 12-29-14 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-29-14, 07:13 PM
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Yes.... the end settings. I was going to mention that earlier and I forgot.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 08:15 AM
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There is no reference to LG anywhere on the bulb.
It wouldn't be on the lamp, but on the packaging the lamp came in.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 11:01 AM
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It worked !!!!!!. Me happy guy.

Happy new year
 
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Old 12-30-14, 06:06 PM
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I've never had one of those Maestro's fail me.

For anyone reading this thread and considering them..... if used in a three way situation.... buy the MA companion dimmer control along with the regular one.

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