The 8 Best LED Dimmer Switches
8. Baomain Decora Slide
- uses ground wire for safety
- works with wide wattage range
- slide motion not smooth
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. Enerlites 59302-W
- 10 to 100 percent dimming range
- built-in micro-adjustment wheel
- may cause humming noise
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. GE 10464 Slide
- helps reduce annual energy costs
- intended for single-pole application
- causes flickering with some lights
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Philips 455394 Hue Dimmer Kit
- switch can control 10 smart bulbs
- system works with amazon alexa
- rather expensive option
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
4. Zitrades PWM Dimming Controller
- low power consumption
- flicker-free lighting
- rather narrow dimmed range
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. Maxxima 3-Way
- great low price point
- large control toggle
- safe for use with up to 600 watts
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
2. Lutron MACL-153M-WH Maestro
- available in multiple colors
- great reviews from users
- wall plate sold separately
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Leviton 6674-P0W SureSlide Universal
- linear full-range slide control
- backward compatible w' old fixtures
- works with many cfl bulbs as well
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
Using Light For Mood, Productivity, And More
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. Americans are spending an average of $2,000 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.
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.