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OK, we'll try this again.

I scrubbed the question of any specific company or style names; I only included those because I was trying to be specific about my existing electrical system. I did think I made it clear that I was looking for what sort of equipment would work, rather than any specific product recommendatations.

I want to replace a 3-way switch with a 3-way dimmer switch to control a pair of 5-watt LED ceiling light bulbs.

I was told that the company that made my existing switch does not make LED-compatible dimmers, but when searching HI SE, I read that many dimmers are LED-compatible even though they don't say so on the package.

The other switch in the circuit will remain an ordinary 3-way switch. When I turn it on with that switch, I expect the brightness to be whatever I left it at the other switch.

In addition, I want it to cosmetically match the other existing switches and outlet in my apartment.

I think I saw a "not dimmable" symbol on the light bulb package, but I'm not sure. I'd be willing to replace the bulbs if need be. (Can I just test it to see if it will work? Or will using an incompatible bulb cause a fire or something?)

I'm not planning to have smart bulbs, remote controls, or controls via an app; just a normal 3-way circuit plus a dimmer.

Specifically, I want to find a 3-way rocking motion switch (not push-on, push-off) with a brightness dial that cosmetically matches my other switches and outlets and works with LED bulbs. (I live in Germany. In German, that would be a Wechselwippenschalter mit Dimmer für LED.)

Even though I was told that this particular company doesn't make LED dimmers, it's possible that what the salesclerk meant was they don't make any that were specifically for LED. (Or maybe that since they didn't have any that were specifically for LED, he assumed they were all not compatible with LED bulbs.) Should I try a generic dimmer from the same company and see what happens?

Alternatively, could I just buy a plastic cover from the company that made my other switches and outlets and put that on top of some other brand of "innards" (electrical parts)?

I am also interested in why the dimmers are different. (The clerk just said the electronics are different but that's hardly a satisfying answer.) Or should I ask this part of the question on EE SE instead?

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  • How about posting a picture of the one you want to match? BTW, I"m an active member on EE SE... Don't post that question - The mods will delete it almost immediately. They're kinda snobby, only allowing legit engineering discussions. But the salesguy is right, the guts of these aren't going to be compatible. Even if they were the exact same circuitry, they'd be different form factors. Consumer electronics today are rarely designed to be repairable, just replaceable. He's also right that you need a dimmer designed for LED bulbs, you can't just grab any old one. – Kyle B Oct 3 '20 at 17:57
  • ^^^^ More specifically... Not all LED bulbs are created equal. Sometimes (with a SUPER SIMPLE LED bulb), you CAN use a standard dimmer. Many LED bulbs have much more sophisticated circuitry internal, and they don't respond well to the method a standard dimmer uses to dim a normal bulb. The salesguy really isn't in a position to tell you WHY .... if he were, he'd be an EE, not a light bulb salesman ;) (Not a knock on him, just a practical realistic statement). EE is an amazingly complex discipline, there's a reason we need college degrees to do it. – Kyle B Oct 3 '20 at 18:11
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    that cosmetically matches my other switches and outlets” I think that one I saw on the Internet the other day looks exactly like yours. Oh wait, I haven’t seen yours. – Alaska Man Oct 7 '20 at 7:17
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Not all LED bulbs are dimmable. You need to purchase LED bulbs that specifically are labeled as dimmable. However, any dimmer switch labeled as LED will work. There are many different switches available, as long as they say "LED dimmer".

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