Recently replaced dimmable LED bulbs with non-dimmable bulbs in a light fixture/ceiling fan that uses a dimmer switch.

In the last week, it started randomly turning off and on. Now it won't turn on at all, even when I put the old bulbs back in the fixture.

Is it possible that I could have damaged the fixture or the dimmer by doing this? I have never used dimmer switches in the past and did not personally install the light fixture so I wasn't aware that there was a difference.

If so, how would I go about troubleshooting the damage?

  • Got any old incandescent bulbs around? Stick ONE in one of the sockets. If it doesn't work then, it's dead. Jun 16, 2017 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


To be clear... you still have a dimmer, rather than a switch? If so, that's your problem in all likelihood. In terms of trouble shooting, if you know how to safely check the output of the dimmer, I'd bet you find out it's fried. Otherwise for 2 dollars, replace the dimmer with a switch. Should take ten minutes and I bet that's your problem.

  • 1
    Ooops... the devil is in the details. Is this a fixture with an integral light that uses a proprietary dimmer arrangement, rather than a off the shelf dimmer? If so... the bad news is that it probably has a dimmer module internally. Still the probable cause of your problem but much harder and more expensive to fix. Again, if you can safely test the dimmer output I'd do that... although it will require disassembling the fan/light. Otherwise if I was a betting man... I"d be betting on the dimmer module, sad to say.
    – PaulBinCT2
    Jul 29, 2016 at 4:00
  • Thanks for the responses and the troubleshooting info. This isn't actually my place; I'm renting and I'm wondering if it was the lightbulbs that caused the issue. Any thoughts? I'm not totally sure of the details of the fixture, other than what I've posted here.
    – badpanda
    Jul 29, 2016 at 6:17
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    It's hard to know for sure, but it's distinctly possible... but you certainly don't want to start taking apart your landlord's fixture. Beyond that, I guess it's just a matter of how you want to play it. I think I'd just report the fixture doesn't work and chalk it up to a mystery.
    – PaulBinCT2
    Jul 29, 2016 at 11:47
  • He has already identified that the bulbs were changed and is blaming me for the issue. I'm thinking my next step is to ask the manufacturer of the bulbs whether it is possible they could have damaged something.
    – badpanda
    Jul 29, 2016 at 16:34
  • I can't see how they can give you a meaningful answer, but good luck!
    – PaulBinCT2
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:05

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