The builder built my house with multiple outdoor lights on a single circuit. Most of the lights are non-dimmable LED wall fixtures, but 2 of them are dimmable 6" LED baffles under an overhang. He put all of these onto a single dimmer switch, which has now broken 2 of the non-dimmable LED fixtures. They will no longer light up at any current without blinking. I have since replaced them and the dimmer switch with a normal on/off switch.

I'd like to power the non-dimmable LED fixtures at full current, but run the LED baffles at a ~10% or so dimmed setting since they're next to a bedroom. I tried to find "lowest wattage equivalent" baffles for the 6" cans, but even the smallest I could find were still 13W and gave off 900 lumens.

I figure I could do this by cutting into the wall and installing an inline dimmer switch before the 2 dimmable LEDs, since they're at the end of the run. But, I was hoping for a less invasive way to do this and since these are outside that's not a great solution. Could I put some kind of inline resistor before the first LED to lower the current to the 2 LED fixtures or something else to permanently dim them?


  • Just a note, not all LED lights can be dimmed. Make sure they will support a dimmer before you go any further – Machavity May 20 '19 at 19:59
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    i would simply get two smart bulbs that you can program to come on dim when given full power. – dandavis May 20 '19 at 20:14
  • These LED baffles are all dimmable. We have them all over the house with Leviton Decora Smart WiFi dimmers. Getting a new system of smart lighting seems less positive. Ideally, there's a way to splice in a resistor to lower the current into the orange quick-connects of the LED baffle. Otherwise, I guess I'll put another dimmer inline. – pennstump May 20 '19 at 23:12
  • Can you run additional wiring to the fixtures that need dimming? Are the drivers on those fixtures replaceable, or integrated? – ThreePhaseEel May 20 '19 at 23:59
  • Good question. I would imagine that there's no conduit based on the box and the can. It's probably stapled romex to studs. And just to make things all the more interesting, it's in a wall between tile and stucco. – pennstump May 21 '19 at 0:35

I used an NO relay at the back of the switch box. Link here. The dimmer now dims the LED baffles and the relay always send full current to the non-dimmable LEDs whenever the dimmer is at any level.

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  • Interesting solution, and thanks for letting us know. – Daniel Griscom Jul 17 '19 at 21:19
  • I get where you're going with this, but you chose a part that's unsuitable for the application -- at best, it's Rather Useless (i.e. UL Component Recognized), and at worst, its some shoddy knockoff. A RIBU1C makes much more sense for this job -- it's UL listed, neatly wrapped up in a box with a molded-in nipple and pigtails for wiring it, and not that much more expensive than what you bought. – ThreePhaseEel Jul 17 '19 at 23:05
  • According to the official datasheet on the manufacturer's website (fotek.com.tw/pdf/2013515_90632265.PDF), it's both CE and UL-listed. I'd think twice about installing a mechanical (non-solid state) relay like the one you listed without a hatch for maintenance. Plus, the one you listed is twice the size and would not have worked for my application. Thanks for your input, though. Hopefully it can be useful to someone else someday. – pennstump Jul 18 '19 at 23:16

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