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ProGrade, Certified Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 561
Experience:  28+ years exp. - installation, troubleshooting, & repair of commercial, & residential electrical systems.
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I just installed a Leviton dimmer - single light switch that

Customer Question

I just installed a Leviton dimmer - single light switch that controls 3 lights. It is controlling the lights on/off but not dimming. I am using 9w dimmable LED bulbs in recessed cans
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to

I have had a lot of disappointing experience with so-called "dimmable LED" lamps. I have installed many of the best (dimmers & LED lamps) making sure that the dimmer is on the manufacturers list of compatible dimmers for the specific lamp.

To date, I have not found a dimmer that will satisfactorily dim a single or a group of LED lamps.

I recommend installing a single-pole switch instead. I hope this helps you but if you wish I can opt out to let others chime in, just please do not give a negative rating. Don't give a rating at all before giving a negative as I am only offering my experiences in hopes that it will be of benefit to you. Good luck, whatever you decide.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it possible I have it wired wrong so the lights are working but the dimmer not? When you recommend installing a single pole switch instead do you mean just a regular light switch? (that is what I replaced).
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

If this application has only one switch for this set of lights, and with the lights working in an on-off fashion, it's pretty much impossible to have the dimmer wired incorrectly.

Yes, that would have been a single-pole switch that you replaced, disappointing, I know, but you still get the energy savings of LEDs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I even tried it with 2 other light bulbs - although neither one is rated as "dimmable". I have installed a dimmer before and just used regular bulbs. At this point I don't know if it's the bulbs or the dimmer that is the problem??? If I have the dimmer set on LED (you can toggle it back and forth between CFL and LED) and an LED bulb in, shouldn't it at least dim some if the dimmer is wired correctly? When you say your experience has been disappointing do you mean that don't work at all or they don't work well? This one isn't working at all
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

My experience is that dimmers do not work at all on LED lamps. If the dimmer were defective, it would not work at all. If it is the type fixture that you can temporarily replace one or all of the LEDs with incandescent lamps, this would allow you to test the dimmer. That is, remove all of the LEDs and try incandescents instead, if the dimmer is good, it will dim these regular lamps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok I think that helps. Just to clarify - if the dimmer was working it WOULD dim a regular light bulb?
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it certainly would.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, I think the dimmer is faulty. I will pick up a new one and give that a shot, just may not be able to use my LED bulbs =/
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

Sadly, that's true dimmer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
got it. At least I can use all those LED bulbs in the kitchen and hall. Thanks for your help
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. Good luck with your project.