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So I bought a house that came with LED Driver lights and boy do I hate 'em! I installed a dimmer switch, but even then the lowest level they go is still stupidly bright. I'm not an electrically minded person, but is there a way I could get rid of this whole thing and just put in regular ol' warm lightbulbs? I'm a little discouraged by the label that says "contains no user serviceable parts".

I know I'm coming at this from zero knowledge, finding it super hard to google this question to be honest. Any help is much appreciated!

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  • Can you look up the model number for those fixtures and get some specs, or at very least a lumen rating on them? Also, is your issue merely brightness (lumen output), or more color temperature? (yellow/warmness vs blue/coolness) Nov 4, 2021 at 0:51
  • For specs, I've got the part # CLE30G1400750-2, Input 120VAC, Output 750mA, Load is 40 VDC LED. Not too sure what other specs I need? Wish I had been the one to install it, but I was not. Color temperature is annoying as well on the one that can be dimmed, brightness is the bigger problem though. Certainly I'd rather a yellow warmness!
    – Nate Peck
    Nov 4, 2021 at 1:27
  • That's the model number of the driver (the LED equivalent of a fluorescent ballast) -- we need the lumen capability of the fixture since you're after one with fewer lumens Nov 4, 2021 at 11:49

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Warm/cool

The warmness of a light is called its color temperature.

You are looking for 2700K color temperature.
Halogens are 3000K.
Office fluorescents are 4100K.
"Daylight" fluorescents or LEDs are 5000K. (daylight) Terrible LEDs are closer to 6000K (cloud light).

You can have LEDs and real fluorescents in any color temperature you want.

Separately from that is the quality of light. Color Rendering Index is a number from 0 to 100. Those old orange mercury lights were about 35 CRI. Soviet fluorescents from the 1970s about 50 CRI. Modern LEDs 70-90 CRI depending on what you buy. An old incandescent is 100 CRI. The sun is 100 CRI.

It's the dimmer

Quite possibly, the dimmer you used is not compatible with LEDs.

Also, many modern dimmers have an adjustment for their dimming bottom. That is because some lights won't work properly at very low dimming levels. So they give you a knob to adjust "lowest brightness". Read the instructions and see if you see that.

There is nothing wrong with LED tech, and it's perfectly dimmable with the right tech.

However, any triac dimmer is at disadvantage. Triac dimming was an outlandish hack when it was invented in the 1960s for dimming incandescent bulbs, it was an electronic way to avoid either a hot rheostat or a huge variac. The LEDs basically ignore it and treat it like "dirty power". Dimmable LEDs will treat signals from the right kind of dimmers as a "guidepost" for how bright to tune their output. This ability is limited.

Remember how buzzy dimmed bulbs would get? That was the dark-side of triac dimming.


LEDs have two vastly superior dimming technologies: 0-10V (a commercial dimming method) and PWM dimming. However, both methods require a different wiring be done. Low voltage LED strips that have infinite programmable colors use PWM dimming to drive red, green, blue and sometimes white LEDs. They make some with a 2700K and 6000K section; PWM is used to blend them to get any color temperature you want, nice to tune from 5000K work lighting to 2700K mood lighting.

You can't add bulbs to that fixture

Remember tube radios? The tubes would burn out and had to be changed occasionally. Regular light bulbs (even fluorescents) are like that. And then transistor radios came out, and they never needed replacing.

The early ones had sockets for the transistors, and if it failed, you pulled the transistor out, cleaned the oxidation off the contacts with a pencil eraser, and put it back in. The socket was less reliable than the transistor.

LED lighting is the same way. The LED will outlive all of us. A socket would be worse than useless.

We do see many failures of LED lights, but they almost always chase back to a cheap Chinese driver on a cheap fixture. A driver swap puts them right as rain (of course, no one bothers fixing a cheap fixture).

I'm pretty sure this is better.

Regardless, if you want a fixture with incandescent bulbs, you will need to replace the entire fixture. This new fixture will have a thermal rating for the considerable heat of incandescent bulbs. (so it doesn't burn the house down). It's rather important to not overload the fixture (e.g. don't put 100W bulbs in a fixture rated for 60W bulbs, we see the results of that all the time as charred wiring and burnt insulation.)

You may not be able to change to old light tech

In newer homes, there is a code requirement for efficient lighting. This code requirement forbids use of fixtures capable of taking incandescents. That's why 10 years ago you saw a lot of wackadoodle sockets like GU24 and GU10, and today they simply use integrated LED lights in that application.

Many of those codes provide an exception allowing "incandescent-capable fixtures" if they are controlled by a motion sensor.

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  • Incandescents are also getting harder & harder to find… and more expensive if you do. I have two chandeliers I'm still waiting on the 'right' LED shape to be able to replace all the incandescents in. When new the bulbs cost £0.50. I bought up a couple of dozen as they were going out of fashion, at £1 each. The same are now selling at £8 each [& they're not even good ones].
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 6, 2021 at 12:44

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