Why some LEDs are not dimmable

Unlike incandescent bulbs , LED chip technology must have a constant positive- negative electrical inputs ,this is incompatible with (AC) alternating current (standard household electricity).




When designing an LED fixture a  DC power supply is incorporated, so in fact every screw in LED bulb converts incoming AC to a steady DC supply through various internalized electrical components. Even more circuitry is required to make the bulb compatible with Triac dimmer controls.


So consider whether or not you need additional circuitry and the additional cost adding dimmable option.

Other options besides Triac dimmers


There are low-voltage dimmers available, dimmable power supplies as well as dimmable LED bulbs, while the newest LED products coming onto the market that are (dimmable) controlled by your smart phone or tiny remote controls.


There are also different creative ways to achieve mood lighting or ambience that don't require all your lights to be dimmable. A well-placed table lamp or desk lamp can often replace dimmed overhead lighting. Try turning off the mains and turning on some accent lights.



Many lighting applications require no dimmer compatibility whatsoever,



  • Emergency stairwells


  • Walkways and corridors,


  • Closets


  • Bathrooms


  • Laundry rooms


  • Parking structures


  • Outdoor street lighting


  • Architectural lighting


  • Security lighting


  • Office and workplace lighting


  • Galleries or exhibition


  • Retail display


  • Agricultural use


The point being, if being dimmable is not an absolute requirement, extra (and apparently wasteful) circuitry need not be incorporated into every LED product.




Solid-state -Triac dimmers.


This type of dimmer has been available for many years. LED bulbs are available that are compatible with Triac dimmers, However they should not be used as an energy-saving device, dimming LED lighting to reduce power consumption using a Triac dimmer may not save as much energy as it would appear.




 “The dark sides of Triac dimmers"




"The triac dimmer works by chopping some portion off from sinusoidal current waveform of the AC electricity supplying to a light bulb.


The triac dimmer is a beast from the past era. Hurting the power factor is a fundamental flaw that no one can resolve after nearly half-century of its existence. So, like leaded gasoline of the same era, triac dimmers gave people some quick fix and a false sense of comfort. But decades later, we are painfully paying a hefty price for our ignorance."



In addition, Energy Star SSL program has another requirement for zero-watt power consumption in off-state.


These are the type of hurdles LED must overcome, having to be backwards compatible to replace light sources in older fixtures has its difficulties.


Older Post Newer Post