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Truth about dimming LED downlights

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Default Truth about dimming LED downlights

    Hi. Our electrician says that led downlights are not dimmable and trying to install dimmers will be certain to lead to flickering. However I was in a lighting shop today and saw a number of downlights for sale that claimed to be dimmable.

    Iím wondering if maybe the electrician is a bit out of date with his information.

    Google gives conflicting information.

    So does anyone have recent, first hand experience of this issue.

    We need to get this right as my wife is an epileptic and light flicker is a well known trigger.


  2. #2
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Sydney, north


    The right light with the right dimmer is what it comes down to usually but can still be unacceptable, just sometimes. Your epileptic situation may be the concern of the electrician not being able to satisfy..

  3. #3
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Sounds crazy. I'm sitting in a room with brightgreen d700 downlights that go from full bright to just barely glowing - this is on touch clipsal dimmers and also on rotaries - also have cheaper ($45 a light) cob ones that arent perfect as they get real low with one switching off but the others continuing, then also some cheap atom dimmable ones ($20 a light) which lack range in dimmability but also dont flicker.

    there is no perceptible flicker at all, but I'd go with COB types because they create less glare and also the inset cob are even more glare reducing. I get migraine symptoms from change of light, and cheap daylight LED's drive me nuts - get warm (2600-3000k)<60 degree focussed cob lights and many of the problems disappear.

    proper lighting specilalists are a good place to start

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Western Australia


    Basically you have to get the right LED's that are capable of being dimmed and are suited to the type of dimmer used.
    Many LED's are fed by a multi-voltage power supply that will happily run from around 100V to 250V with no notable effect but below that will flicker/fail.

    Dimmable led's will specify either leading or trailing edge dimmer required which reduce the AC power fed to them.
    Or the best ones use an external signal generally 0 to 10VDC to control them. However a little bit more wiring required.

    As phil said buy them as a compatible set LED + dimmer from either lightning specialist or electrical retailer and it's often best if you see one in use beforehand.

  5. #5
    7K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Dimmable and adjustable colour temperature is common in LEDs, and controllable with wifi and an app.

    Eg https://www.bunnings.com.au/verve-de...light_p0119807

    (I have one)

    Downlights - never been a fan of the aesthetic, don't have a single one

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