Light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs are quickly becoming the de facto option for energy efficient lighting in most [city] homes. You’ve probably already heard of how energy efficient these bulbs are compared to incandescent light bulbs and even newer compact fluorescent lamps. But LEDs offer so much more, boasting of features that you might not have even considered.
For example, did you know that most LED light bulbs are dimmable? That means you can control the brightness (or conversely, dimness) of an LED—a feature rarely found with CFLs. Although you would think that all you want from a light bulb is for it switch on when you want to, dimmability actually has a number of benefits.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
With LED lights, the effect of dimming compared to power use is linear. For example, a 20-watt LED consumes 20 watts of electricity on full brightness. Using a dimmer, you can reduce the brightness of the bulb and subsequently, the the amount of electricity it consumes. Dim the bulb by 10 percent and you also cut its power consumption by 10 percent.
Dimming is also a useful feature because many people often comment how bright LEDs are, especially bulbs with a cooler color temperature. With a dimmer, you get the exact brightness you want while consuming less energy.
This feature is also huge for [city] homes using stored energy from solar panels to illuminate their homes. The more control you have over your energy consumption, the easier it is for you to manage your stored energy.
Dimmers, although known to reduce lamp life and reliability when used with fluorescent light bulbs, may actually have the opposite effect on the lifespan of LEDs.
Light output and life degradation in LED light bulbs are affected mainly by junction temperature. For example, higher temperatures result in reduced lifespan in LEDs. And since dimming lowers overall junction temperatures, it won’t have any negative impact on an LED bulb; in fact, it might even help extend its life.
This is perhaps the most important benefit of dimmability. Although LED bulbs generally don’t give off as much excess heat as incandescent bulbs (at 3.4 BTUs/hour), anything you can do to lower the external temperature of an LED light bulb only makes it safer and less likely to become a fire hazard.
And that’s exactly what a dimming controller does. By dimming the LED, it generates even less heat. If you can to keep the bulb on for an extended period of time while dimmed, it can run cooler and become less likely to be a safety hazard.
Gentler on the Eyes
Using dimmable LEDs in your [city] home creates a more balanced distribution of light throughout your living spaces. Dimmable LEDs are also more relaxing on the eyes, as they don’t change their color tint when dimmed, unlike other bulbs which have been said to shift to a yellowish hue.
In addition, the light generated by a dimmed LED doesn’t flicker, which again makes it gentler on your vision.
Wide Variety of Applications
With their dimming feature, LEDs have a wide variety of potential uses both inside and outside your [city] home. Use them in your bedroom to help you sleep better, in your child’s room for an instant night light, in the bathroom for trips to the toilet in the middle of the night, and in your living room for entertaining guests or watching TV. The possibilities are endless.
While many LED light bulbs are indeed dimmable, make sure to check for this feature anyway before buying your bulbs. Even LEDs that are capable of dimming will work only with a proprietary dimmer and not third-party controllers. Check the label when in doubt.