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Dimmable light bulbs: 101

Dimmable light bulbs: 101

The right lighting solution for the right area in your home or workspace is essential. Dimmable light bulbs provide a range of options that can help create the perfect feel to a room for social occasions, with the flexibility to bring the lights up to full brightness whenever you have a job to do. But not just any light bulb will do this job. If you have questions about dimmable light bulbs, we’re here to answer them. Here are just some of the FAQs that crop up around this everyday household object.

What is a dimmable light bulb anyway? 

Well, getting a dimmer switch fitted is no good if you don’t have a bulb that will work with it. Softening the light in a room is a great way to improve the atmosphere and ambience in the evening, as well as saving energy. But not every bulb is dimmable. Fluorescent tubes, for example, need an extra fitting or they won’t dim. 

What kind of dimmable light bulbs is the best to get? 

That all depends. If you want a LED, then try the SOLO, which is 10w and allows the temperature of the colour to be changed from broad daylight to something warmer, as required. Less expensive versions at 8w are also available. 

How about outdoors? Can I use dimmable light bulbs in my garden? 

You can, if you have the right kind of dimmer switch, and if the fittings you use are all approved for outdoor use. Water damage is the main problem, and because you’re dealing with electrics it’s something that’s really important to get right. Generally speaking, dimmable light bulbs are more of an indoor thing, but waterproof versions might be handy in a garage or garden porch area where variable lighting could be important.

How can you tell if it’s a dimmable light bulb? 

Easy. There are standard logos that show at a glance if a bulb is dimmable or not. Check carefully, because we would never recommend placing a non-dimmable bulb into a dimmer fitting. A surge in electricity can result in overheating and safety issues, and you'll probably blow the bulb. 

Can I place a dimmable light bulb under my kitchen cabinets? 

Great idea! Giving a warm glow under a shelf or cupboard can make that workspace usable. Just make sure you have the right bulb and fittings, and you’ll be able to make that area beneath a kitchen cabinet versatile and attractive. It's a good example of where to make really good use of dimmable light bulbs.

Help! My dimmable light bulb is buzzing! Should I be worried? 

Start by double checking you have a dimmable light bulb. One of the probable reasons for buzzing is that you have non-dimmable light bulb fitted in a dimmable fitting. Swap the bulb for one that is definitely dimmable, and see if that helps. If that doesn’t work, update the dimmer switch for something more modern. Cheap fittings and old fittings are the most likely to cause issues.

We hope that answers your dimmable light bulb questions. Thought of one we missed? Get in touch. We’d love to help! 

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  • Adam King