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I'm making an LED lamp and was about to install a feed thru switch, but I noticed my wire is too thick for the switch. Rummaging through my drawer for another, I found an old dimmer, fun.

I see that it has the words "permanently installed incandescent fixtures only" written on it. This dimmer is so old, I'd imagine they didn't consider LED when making the warning.

My main question, is it safe to use this dimmer? The LED uses 7 watts, it's 500 lumens.

  • It might work, or the LED will flicker and flash. If the cords too thick for the switch you likey have SPT2 lamp card and a switch designed for SPT1 cord. – Tyson Nov 10 '16 at 1:33
  • @Tyson yeah, I'll just go to the store and get the right switch. In the mean time, am I going to damage anything? – Carl Nov 10 '16 at 1:35
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    Most issue I've seen is the LED will just not be stable. The dimming range won't be anywhere near what it would be with incandescent either. – Tyson Nov 10 '16 at 1:36
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There are dimmable LED bulbs on the market. If yours is one of those you should be fine. If you try to dim a non-dimmable bulb you'll most likely see full brightness at high settings and flashing at low settings. You'll almost certainly shorten the life of the bulb.

The switch label probably considers compact fluorescent bulbs ("energy saving") which are even harder than LEDs to make dimmable. There is just a chance that the dimmer switch requires a minimum load, but I'd expect that to be started explicitly if so.

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