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I've been having an issue for a while now where my chandelier light fixture installed with six Cree 60W LED replacement bulbs flickers when I raise my traditional dimmer to max brightness. As I understand it, the reason for this flickering is because the Cree bulbs can not handle the high current induced by the dimmer. My budget is pretty small right now and I would like to avoid buying $25 led dimmers (since I have several fixtures with traditional dimmers that would need replacing).

So, one possible solution I was thinking of was to simply use one or two incandescent light bulbs in place of the LEDs to increase the resistance of the circuit and hopefully end the flickering issue. My only concern with doing this is whether it will damage the LED bulbs in any serious way (I'm okay with any funny colors that may result).

Thanks.

  • Do you know the difference between an analog dimmer vs electronic? If not can you describe the dimmer? – Kris Nov 26 '15 at 23:56
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    I'm not sure which one my dimmer is. If I were to guess, I would guess analog. The dimmer works fine with all incandescents but causes the LEDs to buzz and flicker (the flickering really kicks in when the dimmer is pushed to 85%). It's made by Lutron and it looks like this: lightology.com/… – LockX Nov 27 '15 at 1:05
  • Yes that is an analog dimmer. I'm surprised the LEDs flicker when the dimmer is all the way up. It is usually the other way around. I would just try a new dimmer but stick with the analog like you have as they work best with LEDs. You can always take it back too if it still flickers. – Kris Nov 27 '15 at 1:07
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    @Kris I believe that is an electronic dimmer ("Low voltage electronic" is how it's listed) – DA01 Nov 27 '15 at 2:15
  • @DA01, I missed that, but I don't think LockX realizes what he posted was electronic, though I could be wrong. – Kris Nov 27 '15 at 2:40
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The flicker is likely because your dimmer is indeed incompatible with LEDs -- it was designed to drive electronic low-voltage "transformers" used with 12V (typically halogen or low-voltage LED) lighting systems. Switching to a dimmer made for CFL/LED or incandescent/halogen service should cure it.

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Mixing incandescent and LEDs is quite common, but it is usually related to digital devices/dimmers that require a minimum load.

Your scenario sounds like a bad dimmer.

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There should be no issue mixing the bulbs, but not sure it will solve your problem. That type of dimmer is an electronic dimmer. That means it dims by turning the electricity on and off 100+ times a second (as opposed to an analog dimmer, that adds a giant resistor). Not all LEDs are set up for this. You may be able to solve the problem by just getting different LEDs. Lutron has a list of bulbs it marks as compatible with its dimmers:

http://www.lutron.com/technicaldocumentlibrary/3682066_CFL_LED_Bulb_list.pdf

  • He probably just needs to use a regular analog dimmer, if indeed he is using an electronic. Cree LEDs work really well with them. – Kris Nov 27 '15 at 2:44
  • These days, few, if any, dinners are a "giant resistor" (rheostat). Most "analog" dimmers turn off at the AC-line zero crossing and turn on part way through the AC cycle (triac-driven). Other than that, your answer is probably correct. – DoxyLover Nov 27 '15 at 6:19

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