Apologies for the wall of text in advance.

I bought three 40W Energizer dimmable LED lightbulbs for a dimmer switch at home. Once I screwed them in, I noticed that when I turned on the switch, there was a particular buzz that came from them and the dimming would not work properly. I did a bit of research and it turned out I needed a specific LED dimmer switch to go with the dimmable LED lights. I thought "oh, well, I'll just replace it with a normal switch". I left it like that for a few weeks since it wasn't a huge priority. The buzz eventually went away and I kinda forgot about it completely.

However, I noticed that over time one by one the lightbulbs would stop coming on every time I turned the switch on. I ignored it for the first one since I thought it was just the dimmer switch, but I had another light not come on today and it got me worried. I tested it in another light socket that's connected to a normal switch and it won't come on, so I worry it's been buggered (the third one that still works, worked in the other socket).

Are they salvageable at all? Have I just ruined two otherwise perfectly good LED lights?

1 Answer 1


Are they salvageable at all? Have I just ruined two otherwise perfectly good LED lights?

No, they are not salvageable. Yes, you have just ruined two otherwise perfectly good LED lights.

Dimming, with a non-LED compatible dimmer or with non-dimmable LED lights, is not good for the lights. Dimming is not normally, as much as it might appear (and as I used to think) simply reducing the amount of current going to the lights. It is a bit more complex. LED lights (fluorescent too) can't simply take "any way of reducing the overall power" - they have to handle things in a special way or they will either die a painful death (as you found) or blink a lot - 50% on, 50% off = 50% light, but not in a terribly useful way.

Odds are if you had removed the lights right away after discovering the problem, they would be just fine today - the electronics are actually fairly resilient. But using them over an extended period time with a mismatched dimmer doomed them.

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