Our living room has 4 dimmable lights controlled by 1 switch and slider. Many years ago, we replaced the incandescent lights with fluorescent bulbs (we didn't know that fluorescent bulbs don't dim out of the box). A couple weeks ago, some of the fluorescent bulbs randomly stopped working. Some days they'd turn on, other days they wouldn't,so we decided to replace them all with LED bulbs.

However, only one of the LED bulbs will turn on and dim while none of the others will turn on--let alone dim. When I reverted back to fluorescent bulbs, all but one work normally (at least in the 5 hours since reversion to fluorescent).

Do y'all have any tips for troubleshooting? I'd like to use the LEDs from now on.

UPDATE, 2018-01-26: My dad replaced the light fixtures, and now all of the LED bulbs dim properly. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see what spec/model the old fixtures were before he threw them out.

  • 3
    What is the make and model of LED bulb? It matters. Also, what's the general style and era of the dimmer, i.e. is it an 80s classic or a fairly new model intended for LED dimming? Mar 19, 2016 at 23:20
  • Dimmers don't always play well with LED or CFL bulbs. They make dimmers now that are better compatible with dimmable LED and CFL bulbs you may want to try replacing your dimmer with one of those. Even then they're not always compatible but the dimmer specs usually list bulbs they've been tested with. Apr 3, 2017 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


There are different types of dimmers and different types of bulbs ( aside from incandescent ) ; some work together and some don't. As a home owner I just try them to see which ones work together.


I found that when I replaced the four incandescent 40 watt lamps in my ceiling fan light fixture with LED 60 watt rated (about 6 watts) they wouldn't work unless I reinstall one incandescent. I think it's because the dimmer needs at least 40 watts to work. I guess I'd better replace the dimmer with one rated for LED, but so far they will dim or work bright. I think I'll just run on bright until I replace the dimmer switch.

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