The ceiling fan I just bought has dimmable LED lightbulbs. I want to replace them with a non-LED bulb. Does it have to be 'dimmable'? If so - what are the options?

  • 1
    Are the LEDs in the fan in the form of removable bulbs? What model of fan is it? Many new light fixtures are designed with only LEDs in mind and can't be used with less efficient bulbs which generate more heat, like incandescents.
    – Khrrck
    Apr 6 at 20:54
  • If they are screw in type or Edison bulbs the maximum wattage in a ceiling fan is 190w , most lamp holders have a maximum wattage sticker on them of 60w but if 4 lamps still limited to 190w. It is possible that the fan lighting kit can not handle 190 but it would be clearly labeled as required.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 6 at 21:54
  • Khrrck - Yes, they are removeable bulbs, The model is - 'home decorators collection - dimmable lights - COPLEY - 52 inch LED ceiling fan' purchased from Home Depot. Ed - they are screw in type. I will check the maximum wattage. There are only 2 lamps.
    – Jeff
    Apr 7 at 17:09
  • what non-led (ok, and non-cfl) bulb isn't dimmable? you can use a pair of 8w incandescent bulbs, but that won't be very bright. Higher-watt incandescent bulbs are too hot to use.
    – dandavis
    Apr 9 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Watch carefully for the fan's thermal rating, in two areas.

  • The actual rating of the bulb sockets - which should be labeled for a maximum wattage. This is because too much wattage will make too much heat, and damage the fixture or start a fire.
  • The total wattage rating allowed by the fan. Fans cannot support unlimited watts, and UL requires that a safety limiter circuit be part of the fan.

A fan built for the LED age may not have the thermal rating an older fan would - but the instructions and labeling are the final word on the subject (assuming the fan was actually approved by UL, CSA or ETL).

A third issue is if the fan does not have lamp sockets* or if they use a special lamp socket that is designed to reject incandescent lights. In that case, the fixture is absolutely, positively not made for the heat of incandescents, and incandescents cannot safely be used at all, even with some sort of cheater adapter (which will not be UL listed, note).

* There is no reason for LED lights to be socketed, since the semicondctor emitters (these things) don't fail. They are semiconductors, after all. You may have experienced LED screw-in so-called "bulbs" fail, but crack one open - you'll find semiconductor emitters, but also some power supply (driver) components. Unless something went wrong with the heat sink (like being cheap), the driver will have failed. I joke that the LEDs don't need to be socketed, the drivers do - and some lamp manufacturers aren't laughing - they actually did that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.