The 10 Best LED Dimmer Switches
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in December of 2016. LED technology is a great way to ensure your home or office is well lit while reducing energy costs when compared with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. With a reliable dimmer switch, you can take total control by providing low light for a relaxed atmosphere or maximum brightness to foster productivity. For a safe and proper setup, these should only be installed by a licensed electrician. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 26, 2020:
The GE Enbrighten 46203 comes on board in today’s update. This model conveniently can be programmed using your smartphone, or you can control it by voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s easy to pair with your smartphone via a QR code printed on its front, and installation in general is relatively simple. You can choose one in black, brown, almond, ivory, or white, so there’s sure to be one to match your room’s decor. Note that this device requires you to have a Z-Wave certified smart home hub, which is sold separately. These include Samsung SmartThings, Ring Alarm, Harmony Home Hub Extender, Vera, ADT Pulse, ADT Command, and others. We also added in the Lutron Diva DVWCL-153PH, which can be used with single-pole or three-way applications, and its simple design incorporates a large rocker switch with a slider to its right. This user-friendly choice can be used with either LEDs or CFLs of up to 150 watts, as well as halogen or incandescent light bulbs of up to 150 watts. To make room for this one, we removed the Lutron Maestro 153M, which is highly similar to the Lutron Maestro OP153M, except the former does not have a motion sensor. Today, we also say goodbye to the Zitrades PWM, which is unavailable at this time.
In addition to the newly added GE Enbrighten model, our list contains some other tried-and-true smart models. The highly rated TP-Link Kasa HS220 not only lets you set the brightness of your lights, but also allows you to turn ceiling fans on and off. The Philips Hue 466706 conveniently can be used either as a wall switch or a remote control and comes with a bulb that responds wirelessly to the panel. Both the Kasa and the Hue can be controlled with your voice, since they’re compatible with virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. As mentioned in our last round of updates, when any dimmer installation involves working with live wires, they should be installed by a licensed electrician, for safety’s sake.
June 24, 2019:
Not only are LED lights energy efficient and long lasting, but they can also be dimmed easily (and often turned on and off) with a reliable dimmer switch. Our selection includes basic models like the Lutron Toggler, which offers two simple components: an on/off switch and a slider to control the brightness. For a similar option – but with added motion detection – look to the Lutron Maestro OP153M, which turns lights on automatically as soon as you walk into the room. (And it knows not to do so when daylight is present.)
Joining the list in this update are two ultra-modern choices that can be controlled from anywhere, as well as voice activated from around your home, with compatible devices. The TP-Link Kasa HS220 is controllable via a smartphone or Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. In addition to dimming your lights, it can be used to control things like ceiling fans. Its convenient bells and whistles include the ability to gradually fade the lights, like while your child is drifting off to sleep; the ability to schedule the lights to come on and off at certain times of the day (which proves handy when you’re out of town but want to make it look like someone’s home, or when you’re out late but want to provide some light for your pets); and the ability to create automated “scenes” that provide the right amount of illumination for your morning routine, or during dinner, homework, TV time, and so on.
Another new addition is the Wemo F7C059, which also can be used with Alexa, and it’ll provide a wide dimming range without any flickering. It offers a handy night mode that can be used to provide low levels of light that are easy on the eyes. It can also be used in conjunction with Google Nest to automatically turn the lights off when the house is empty. It’s compatible with all sorts of bulbs, including LEDs, CFLs, or incandescent ones.
In this update, the Lutron Skylark 153PH and the Hongyue Touch were removed, due to lack of availability.
As a rule, these should only be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure a proper and safe setup.
Using Light For Mood, Productivity, And More
Research has found that exposure to bright lights late in the day can interrupt your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
Have you ever walked into someone's home or a venue and thought, "I love the lighting in here?" There is a good chance that it might not have been designed that way just because of a personal preference: the person in charge of that lighting is probably aware of the science behind how certain lighting affects the way we feel. Studies on how lighting affects productivity in an office found that cool lights, like those that appear bluish-white or cool-white, are the best for an office space. This type of light typically comes from the sun, but you can recreate it with artificial lights if your workspace is devoid of windows.
Lighting also affects your sleep. Research has found that exposure to bright lights late in the day can interrupt your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime. Dimming the lights in your bedroom, and even throughout your home, in the late afternoon and early evening can help prepare your brain for sleep. You essentially want to use your dimmers to mimic the natural phases of the sun throughout the day, allowing your home to be brighter in the middle of the day, and progressively darker towards sundown. Bright lights may also make you impulsive, which is one of the reasons why detectives use them to interrogate suspects, and why jewelry stores use them to get you to make large purchases. Extra bright lights are known to intensify your emotions, which is why dimming your lights when you feel emotionally overwhelmed can be helpful.
Sitting in overly bright lights all day can also damage your eyes, as well as cause headaches. Using a dimmer can reduce the incidence of these light-induced headaches, and prevent long-term damage to your eyes. On the flip side, there are times bright light can be beneficial, like during the winter. Studies have found that bright lights actually make your body feel warmer, so if you can't afford to turn up the thermostat, maybe you can at least increase the brightness on your dimmer. On a fun note, you can use dimmers to showcase your favorite items. If you keep all your trophies, family photos and other memorabilia in a small room, using warm light can help bring your friends' focus on to these items.
Surprising Perks Of An LED Dimmer Switch
LED dimmer switches offer so much more than just mood lighting. They can also help you cut down on your energy usage. Many Americans are spending thousands on home energy every year. Imagine all the things you could buy if you could save just 25 percent of that money, like a new television or tablet. LED dimmer switches make it easy to lower your electric bill without having to sacrifice on your basic needs. For example, if you like to leave your lights on when you're away for long periods of time to prevent burglary, this can result in a huge energy bill. Using dimmers lets you leave your lights on at a low level, which still makes your home look occupied, but doesn't waste as much energy. Just because America wastes 60 to 80 percent of its energy, doesn't mean that you have to, as well.
Using a dimmer can help you safely use the toilet in the middle of the night, without the harshness of bright lights, allowing you to fall back asleep more easily.
If you have a child who claims he has outgrown sleeping with a nightlight, but secretly still wants a little illumination in his room, an LED dimmer switch can be a nice compromise. Meanwhile, if you love having movie nights at home, you may not want to sit in a pitch-black room to see the screen, but overly bright lighting can negatively affect the movie watching experience. Dimmer switches can be the perfect addition to your entertainment room, allowing you to replicate that much-loved movie theater experience.
Bathrooms are ideal places for LED dimmer switches, as well. Turning a light up to full brightness in the middle of the night can disrupt you too much, and make it hard to go back to sleep. Using a dimmer can help you safely use the toilet in the middle of the night, without the harshness of bright lights, allowing you to fall back asleep more easily. LED dimmer switches can also play an important role in romantic evenings. If you and your significant other are cooking dinner for two, you want to see what you're doing in the kitchen so you don't cut yourself, but you also want to keep the lighting warm and soft to set the mood.
What To Look For In An LED Dimmer Switch
If you already have a smart house full of things like smart plugs and bulbs, look for a switch that can sync up with Amazon Alexa or another home automation service. This way, you can dim the light for your romantic dinner, without getting up from your seat. Some models may even come with a smart bulb. If you love intuitive technology, then you'll appreciate a dimmer with a memory function that recalls the last setting you had it on. Those of you who don't have quite such modern houses may want a model that will work with standard wall plates and older lighting systems.
Make sure your dimmer has smooth sliding motion so you can easily set it to your desired level. If you go through a large range of activities in your home every day, from working on model ships that require bright lights to putting cranky toddlers down for nap time, look for an LED dimmer switch with just as wide of a dimming range. On that note, you may want a model that is safe to use with incandescent, halogen, and other types of bulbs, so you aren't limited in your lighting options.
Some models can control several lights around your house, all from one panel, allowing you to perfect the lighting in various rooms, without having to walk around. Generally speaking, the more features an LED dimmer switch has, the more convenient it will be to incorporate into your daily routine.