Dimming CFLs and LEDs
Color temperature is just one of the differences between dimming CFLs or LEDs and dimming incandescents.
 
Juno Lighting Group's new WarmDim downlights
Using a dimmer on incandescent light gives you ambience, bulb life and energy savings. Is it the same for LEDs and CFLs? Will dimming these bulbs give you the same energy savings and bulb life as incandescent?

You are right on all counts with incandescent light, but the same is not true with CFLs and LEDs. Neither of these sources gets warmer in color when dimmed. There is one exception, though, a bulb made by Eco-Story. Also, Juno Lighting just introduced a recessed downlight called the WarmDim that’s pretty terrific.

As far as energy savings go, both CFLs and LEDs immediately save you money, although those savings do not significantly increase with dimming. Dimming of CFLs and LEDs does not extend their lamp life, but CFLs at 10,000 hours and LEDs at 25,000 to 50,000 hours far outlive a standard incandescent, rated at 750 hours, and a halogen lamp, rated between 2,000 and 3,500 hours. Even if you double the lamp life of incandescent lamps by dimming them, they still have a shorter life than their more energy-efficient counterparts. I think there is room for all three sources, depending on the application and preferences. I am an equal opportunity illuminator.

Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

Is Christmassy really a word? I agree with you, though. While I am seeing an increased use of lasers for tree lighting, the colors available are... read full story
Hoarding is such a harsh term. I prefer squirreling away. Fear not. I don't think that the low wattage versions of these lamps will be taken off the... read full story
You are right. That lovely chandelier of yours burns up to 800W worth of power every time you turn it on. Luckily, there are LED options out there.... read full story
A man cave/wine cellar? Are you planning to do a lot of drinking alone? If so, then I'm in! You want to add four types of lighting here, just as you... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2-3 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/ASID/IDC/... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story

RL Tweets!