When to use a dimming switch with led lights?

When to use a dimming switch with led lights?

Dimming gives you more freedom on changing the mood of spaces and making the lighitng to adapt to different uses of the space. Most of the lights LedStore has available, are dimmable. These include ie. led panels, led spots, led strips and led bulbs.

When to choose dimmable led lights?

If you are accustomed to incandescent and halogen lighting, you might feel that the replacement led lights are very bright. Led lighting also has a variety of light colour temperatures, from which especially the 4000K and above lights might feel a lot brighter, than you are used to.

Dimming abilities of the led lights should be discussed on:

  • new buildings. They should be planned and included in the electrical wiring design or lighting design.
  • renovations, as the electrical work is planned.
  • when changing from halogens or incandescents to leds, while keeping the same lights. If you have a dimmer installed, you need to see if it is compatible with the new led bulbs.

Hiring an electrician or lighting designer will be helpful when selecting the right kind of system for dimming and controlling the lights in your house. We also have wireless dimmers that can be easily used in dimming the lights. These are especially used in renovation project.

What are the advantages of dimming?

When you want to be able to change the brightness depending on the mood, time of the day or depending on the current use of that space, we recommend dimming of the lights. Dimming is very usable also when you have selected a bit brighter lighting as the space would have needed. Also if you have replaced your old halogens, the replacement led bulbs might be brighter and hence need dimming. Creating a brighter led lighting might be the intentional. Leds are long lasting, so make sure that the lighting will be bright enough, even when you get older and will be needing brighter lighting.

Dimming and light colour temperature

Light colour temperatures used in home led lighting are most commonly 3000K warm white or 4000K neutral white leds. The higher the Kelvin the cooler the light. Cooler lights tend to feel brighter than warmer lights. So, changing from incandescent lighting (2700K) to neutral white led lighting, might make you want to get a dimmer switch. The difference between dimming a led light and dimming an incandescent light is that led does not turn warmer when dimmed.

We have a blog post on how to select a correct light colour temperature, so we won't go into more detail about that here.

What rooms to use dimmable led lighting at?

Depending on the lighting system of your home, we recommend you to use dimming only in rooms where you really need it. Rooms that you visit briefly do not usually need dimmer switches. We have a few recommendations on how to choose where to use dimmers.


For bedroom lighting we recommend you to have some of the lights on dimmer. If you have a suspended light and led spots, it is a good idea to have them in separate switches. We recommend you to have the dimmer switch for the led spots as they are usually installed on the sides of the room and will give a cozier light.


For kitchen lighting we usually recommend you to have lights in different groups; suspended on one switch, led spots or panels on one switch and led strips on yet another switch. When having multiple groups of lights that you can turn on and off separately, it is easier to adjust the brightness levels even without a dimmer. If you wish to use a dimmer at the kitchen, think what light you would like to be used for mood lighting and have the dimmer switch installed for that. There is usually no need to have all the lights on a dimmer as having separate groups gives you more variety on lighting.

Read more: How to choose a led strip for kitchen cabinets?

Led panels and led strip compared. Square showers with square led panels.


For shower, you can have a dimmer if you like. If you have a spa like area, especially with a bathtub, we would definitely recommend a dimmer switch. You could have a led panel on the ceiling and then a led strip on the corner of the wall and the ceiling. Naturally set up on different groups. From these two, we would recommend you to have the led strip on the dimmer as it's easier to create cozy lighting with the led strip.

Living room

For living room lighting we usually recommend you to have lights in different groups as well as having a dimmer switch for at least one of these groups. Living room is usually the space you spend the most time at. It is a good idea to have a brighter lights for daytime and early evening and then have the possibility to have a dimmer lighting for the evening. If you have suspended lighting combined with led spots and an indirect led strip lighting, we would suggest you to have a dimmer switch for the led spots or for the led strip, possibly for both.

Foyer and hallways

These spaces that you normally pass by quickly, do not necessarily need dimming. Some even opt out getting a light switch and instead install a motion sensors. This will make the lights turn on and off automatically when entering and exiting the room. This usually saves you electricity as you do not need to remember to turn off the lights. This might not work for you, if you have pets that move around the house.


The storage rooms do not need to have a bright lighting so a dimming would be unnecessary and even unwanted.

Utility room and walk-in closet

Normally utility rooms do not need a dimmer. You go there to do laundry and other household chores so you want the light to be bright.


Toilets are usually places you visit briefly. That is why toilets seldom need dimming. If you want a dimmer night light, we recommend you to have a short piece of led strip under one of the cabinets (floor level), that has a motion sensor, so that you'll have your night light hassle free.

Read more: How to create good makeup lighting?

Dimmable led strip at a terrace high beam.

Outdoor and terrace lighting

Usually it is a good idea to select dim lights for outdoor use. They rarely need dimming. Only if you have selected brighter lights for your terrace or patio there might be a point on getting a dimmer switch.

Read more: Outdoor led lighting – what do you need to know?




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