I've read a lot about "not every LED bulb can be dimmed, always look for a "dimmable" feature". The truth is none of the LED bulb here do have the "dimmable" feature written down in the packaging. I have a cheap LED dimmer made by Philips, and I am wondering if I could dim an ordinary LED bulb with it. I don't know about how it works or whatever inside, there is 4 connection from there, 2 from mains and 2 to lamp. It only says 300W max, 230v. Since LED bulbs is way expensive I am wondering if they could be dimmed just fine. Or will they buzz or don't work at all?

  • 1
    You wouldn't plug your TV into a dimmer to control the volume. LEDs are also complex electronic devices. The dimming ones have additional circuitry that listens to the powerline, reverse engineers how the dimmer is manipulating the power "signal" (expecting to dim an incandescent), figures out what the dimmer intends, and then commands the LEDs to the corresponding brightness using methods appropriate for LEDs. It's complicated as all getout. Apr 29, 2017 at 14:35
  • A better quality normal LED will treat dimming as a brownout (or if in the UK, will go "oh voltage dropped to 110V? I must be in America now!") The switching power supply will ignore the dimming and simply draw more current to make up for it. At some point you'll overcurrent either the dimmer or the LED's internals. Apr 29, 2017 at 14:39
  • @Harper just an FYI : LED lighting uses Pulse Width Modulators to control the power output - it works much like a switching power supply like in your PC - (because basically that is what it is.) I believe it regulates current as LED's have a specific forward voltage. Depending on how that circuit works determines if a standard dimmer will work with it and what types of 'standard' dimmers.
    – Ken
    May 2, 2017 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


If the package does not say "dimmable" then it is not dimmable - it might dim and it might not, it might just burn out.

  • CREE in their print declares they work with most dimmers.
  • Philips bulbs are marked clearly on the package as well.
  • Other manufacturers like el-cheapos, they are cheap for a reason generally no dimming.

LED's have a frequency driver in them for the power output to "drive" the LED - so what happens is that frequency regulates the power for the LED.


  • Not all dimmers work with LED bulbs.
  • Dimmers will not necessarily work with all LED bulbs.
  • Not all LED bulbs are dimmable.

EDIT 4-30-2017

I have provided the links below for some of the products between Philips and Cree. My personal preference is Cree - they seem to be the all inclusive bulb - compatible with many dimmers, compatible in damp locations (i.e. Showers) and their warranty is EASY. I had a 100 Watter in my garage - it went out - I called them they asked for the model and sent me a replacement - done deal. I also have an older one my daughter dropped and the glass broke - well I trimmed up the glass to the base and use it in my mechanics drop light for working on the car.

Philips Dimmer Compatibility Sheet

Philips USA dimmable-led

Philips USA choose-a-bulb



Cree Compatible Dimmers

  • Somehow in my country lamps are being monopolized by Philips (or no one bothers about it). And I can't seem to find any Philips LED bulbs with "dimmable" printed on them except one which is around 3500K (I assume that as warm white) while I am looking one in 5000K+. Or I haven't searched thoroughly throughout their storage. Do you have any recommendations about which Philips LED bulb? That way it is easier since I know which serial exactly to find. Apr 29, 2017 at 15:54
  • @TenzoNakami not sure what country you are in - but I have posted some links in my answer - Cree can be purchased at 1000bulbs.com or Amazon.com (I prefer them over the others) but Philips is not that bad either - for all I know they might license Cree LED technology. I believe Cree was the first to get 100 Lumens per Watt from an LED. IMO they are the best, Philips has some nice designs though - so I like that about them - and they seem to be ok at least in my Kitchen (I bought them because of the bulb design).
    – Ken
    Apr 30, 2017 at 20:01
  • I am living in Indonesia which do utilize the 230V 50Hz Mains. Quite unsure if they do have CREE here, but I'll try to find if they do have one. May 2, 2017 at 1:53
  • @TenzoNakami - I did a quick search on the cree website cree.com/led-components/where-to-buy the only listed place was : [email protected] 3 Changi North Street 2 LogisTech Building #03-01B 498827 Singapore Phone: +65 6788-9233, if that does not work the philips might be ok too as long as you have the right lamp.
    – Ken
    May 2, 2017 at 3:05

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