Switching to LEDs: need some advice



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Interesting read about LED's. I have some lamps in my house which are connected to a dimmer switch on the wall. Can I get dimmable LED's. A simple but not to technical answer would be appreciated. Thanks
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Hi Suz,
A simple answer yes you can get dimmable LED's, but make sure you read the description as not all LEDs are clearly marked, they are also a little more expensive
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hi Suz
You can get dimmable leds for most types of incandescent lamps (unless they are obscure ones) but a word of caution about the dimmer which may not work with the dimmable leds. You said not to get technical so I won't! You may need to replace the dimmer.
Again, without getting technical, what kind of lamps are the existing, (and do you know what wattage they are?) if you don't know the type post a photo or a weblink to the same type.
Suz;32587:
Interesting read about LED's. I have some lamps in my house which are connected to a dimmer switch on the wall. Can I get dimmable LED's. A simple but not to technical answer would be appreciated. Thanks
Hi Suz,

Dimmable LED bulbs require an appropriate (LED compatible) dimmer to operate. Your current dimmers will need to be replaced for the dimmable LED bulbs to operate.
There is another option however, I have replaced all my incandescent bulbs with LED'S. I purchased some that are switchable dimmer bulbs. The LED'S have 3 output settings that is switched by repeatedly operating the switch..... when switched once... max output,
when switched a second time... reduced output, when switched for a third (and final) time.... minimum output. These bulbs are a little bit more expensive (but not much) It's an alternative to the higher cost of replacing your existing dimmers. Worth thinking about in my opinion.
Thank you so much everyone for your replies, and for keeping it simple for a non technical person like me. I hadn't heard about switchable dimmer bulbs before, sounds like this might work. I would rather this then replace the dimmer switches.
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If you buy a dimmable LED first try it with your existing dimmer switch. If it works, fine. You will know if it is not going to as the light will come on or flash when the switch is off. If it is a switch controlling several lights in a room then you need to change all bulbs to LEDs as if all are changed again you might find the switch is fine. OK I am being technical but the reason is a dimmer switch is not an on/off switch and when you think it is off there is still power in the circuit and as an LED needs so little power it is often sufficient to light it. But not several LEDs at once.

There is a better solution but it is not the cheapest. Have all switches just normal on/off switches and invest in Philips Hue bulbs. You can dim them from your smartphone or tablet and change colours. Philips also do a dimmer switch that is compatible with their bulbs. It is a remote switch. I find this system gives much better control. Routines can be set up to bring lights on or off and you don’t need to use the light switch. Tell Siri or Alexa what you want and the appropriate lights come on at the chosen colour.
Hey Richard,

That "system" sounds fantastic.... but a little expensive. If cost hadn't been a deciding factor when I changed over to LED's then that's the route I think I would have gone down.
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Another question with regard to dimmable LEDs (GY6.35 capsule replacements):

Two of the lamps I hope to install LEDs in are desk lamps with hi/lo intensity switches that currently have GY6.35 capsule halogens (12v, max lamp wattages are 35W and 50W, respectively). Would a dimmable LED be OK for these lamps? There seem to be plenty available online. If they work, the trick is to get ones with the right lumens output (can't tell this from the existing halogens, but possibly 750-900+ lumens, based on some Amazon listings).
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hi suz
​As said you may need to change the dimmer, it depends on 2 things, is the dimmer the correct technical type and how many lamps are on the circuit. You didn't say when I asked, but there is more chance of it working the more lamps there are.
Suz;32672:
Thank you so much everyone for your replies, and for keeping it simple for a non technical person like me. I hadn't heard about switchable dimmer bulbs before, sounds like this might work. I would rather this then replace the dimmer switches.
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I very much doubt that the dimmable leds will work in the same way as the existing incandescents. My guess is that they may dim VERY slightly.
schase;32690:
Another question with regard to dimmable LEDs (GY6.35 capsule replacements):

Two of the lamps I hope to install LEDs in are desk lamps with hi/lo intensity switches that currently have GY6.35 capsule halogens (12v, max lamp wattages are 35W and 50W, respectively). Would a dimmable LED be OK for these lamps? There seem to be plenty available online. If they work, the trick is to get ones with the right lumens output (can't tell this from the existing halogens, but possibly 750-900+ lumens, based on some Amazon listings).
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An update on my G4 LED saga:

The bulbs clearly did not live up to their advertised description.

I managed to get a substantial refund from the eBay seller and get to keep the bulbs! A little bit of negotiation with the seller, but less hassle for both of us than returning them. I'm out of pocket £2 for 8x LED bulbs that were not suitable for my chandelier, but might serve in some other fixture (or I'll take them to the local swap shop).

I've pretty much given up on finding LED replacements for this fixture:

  • I've found very few G4 LEDs small enough to fit (~30mm length).
  • Those that fit are not bright enough

    • The advertised 180lm for the purchased bulbs should have been sufficient, but they are not that bright
    • A couple of others I've found of the suitable size are both significantly more expensive and with an advertised intensity that is also not bright enough.



schase;32178:
Update on the G4 LED capsules. Still looking for advice; the discussion gets a bit technical...

I purchased the G4 capsules @woz had suggested (link here). They arrived very quickly, but are clearly dimmer than the halogens they are replacing, and too dim to use (I even used an iPhone app that gives some rough info on the lux). I don't know why this is the case, but posit some ideas below.

Note that the existing halogens are a combination of

  • the original IKEA bulbs purchased with the fixture in 2009 (which I assumed were 100lm, 10w; now think they might actually be brighter)
  • Diall bulbs purchased in 2016 from B&Q: 100lm, 10w, 2700K (they actually appear slightly dimmer and/or warmer than the IKEA bulbs)

The fixture currently operates with no dimmer, but the illumination is OK with the halogens.

The LEDs purchased (image uploaded) are supposed to be:
12v, COB, 3W, 180lm, warm white (2700-3200K), dimmable

Possible reasons for the difference in illumination:

  • Cheap manufacture
  • Not what was ordered (there's nothing on the packaging and bulbs that shows wattage or lumens)
  • dimmable LEDs perhaps are dimmer unless one uses a dimmer switch?


The capacitors on the LEDs appear to be model 156E, with the second line varying: N133K, N133P, N133U (perhaps a manufacturing batch #?).

Not fit for this purpose; I might try returning them, but am unsure about replacements (thus far I've only found one other LED that would fit (link); lower output and more expensive, but closer to the expected cost).

If I pursue this, should I forget about dimmable bulbs; consider cooler bulbs; higher lumens? I might just need to stick with the halogens until such time as the figure is replaced, as G4s short enough to fit into this fixture (about 30mm total) are rare :-(

2397
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hi
Don't let that put you off. I only suggested that supplier because they had the quantity and price that suited. It's unfortunate but I'd try a b+q one or use ranpo if they have a suitable one - I think the ranpo ones were multiple leds rather than C.O.B types, but that shouldn't matter as long as the size is OK.
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The existing bulbs are HALOGENS (12v), not incandescents. Some of the listings online promote them for desk lamps, but the way these lamps work (hi/lo) might not be suitable for these type of LEDs. I might need to take a lamp into a specialty lighting store to get a proper answer (if I'm lucky and find one with knowledgeable staff).

woz;32693:
I very much doubt that the dimmable leds will work in the same way as the existing incandescents. My guess is that they may dim VERY slightly.
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Yes they are incandescent (just like me most of the time), an incandescent lamp is one with a filament (usually tungsten) that glows brightly when current is passed through it. The fact that it happens to have halides in the gas envelope does not change that.
The reason the leds might not work properly is the output characteristics for the current are totally different, the halogen may be driven at 50% and produce 30% of it's output whereas the led at the same current may produce 80%. The only way to find out is to try it.

schase;32700:
The existing bulbs are HALOGENS (12v), not incandescents. Some of the listings online promote them for desk lamps, but the way these lamps work (hi/lo) might not be suitable for these type of LEDs. I might need to take a lamp into a specialty lighting store to get a proper answer (if I'm lucky and find one with knowledgeable staff).

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