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Led Lights and Dimmer Switches Do’s and Don’ts

Residential Electricians vans Led lights and dimmer switches do's and don'ts

Led lights and dimmer switches do's and don'ts Sylvania GU 10 lamp

Whilst our electricians at Royal Docks Electrical are out and about helping people with there electrical problems and installations, we try to teach them about Led lights and dimmer switches do’s and don’ts.

There’s always one thing that seems to keep popping up time after time.

The materials are not correct for that specific installation.

So here are some 101 basics on Led lights and dimmer switches do’s and don’ts.

Choosing the right materials

People don’t realise how important it is to get the right mix of materials to get a good electrical installation the first time around.

We are now moving from the halogen GU 10 or the MR 12, 12-volt transformer 50-watt lamps to the better energy-saving LED type.

This means When applying dimmer switches you must buy dimmable lamps not like before with the halogen ones as it didn’t matter so much.

V Pro dimmer switch Led lights and dimmer switches do's and don'ts
V Pro dimmer switch

Let’s use a simple example of replacing dimmer switches and led lights.

Don’t just go out and buy any old fittings because it’s not as straightforward as you think it might be.

8 out of 10 times you will end up buying the wrong fittings which will cost you time and money in the long run.

V Pro dimmer switch picture of conventional dimmer Led lights and dimmer switches do's and don'ts
V Pro dimmer switch

Speak to the electrician and get his advice first.

Ask the electrician to replace your broken dimmer switch by all means, but you will need to give him a bit more information so he can decide the best way forward for you.

You will need to let him know the type of light bulbs you have fitted or are going to fit if you want your dimmer switch to work correctly with your lamps.

If you are fitting a dimmer switch and are using LED GU 10 lamps, for example, you will need to make sure they are the dimmable type of lamps.

You will also need to use a compatible LED dimmer switch as you will find normal dimmer switches won’t work for led lamps.

This is due to the output wattage of the lamps being low, so a low range dimmer will be required for this installation to work.

If you don’t go down this route you will end up with all kinds of wonderful flashing lights going on and off, and will also more than likely damage the fittings and the dimmers.

Make sure you calculate how many lights you have running on one switch then multiply that by the lamps output wattage. This will give you the total load of the circuit so that you can choose the suitable dimmer switch.

Alternatively, tell the electrician exactly what you have or want and let him do the maths for you.

Halogen GU 10 downlight
Halogen GU 10 downlight

Quality over quantity

V Pro internal dimmer switch part
V Pro internal dimmer switch part

Good quality led GU 10 does not require transformers, which is good as its one less thing to go wrong in the future.

Fittings without the transformers are our preferred installations as there are fewer components to go wrong in the installation.

Try to stick with 5 watt LED’s as they will last longer as they don’t get too hot and remember to buy dimmable ones if you have a dimmable switch. (although we have a new dimmable 7.5 watt coming shortly from a German supplier which we will be testing for longevity).

A good brand of dimmable switches are Varilight, which we haven’t had any problems with over the last couple of years, and I also use these in my own home.

Buy good quality LEDs from a reputable supplier or you will find yourself changing lamps quite often if they are of poor construction.

Some good types of brand name are Aurora, Philips and Megaman.

Led lights and dimmer switches do's and don'ts Philips led GU 10 Lamp
Philips led GU10 Lamp

To sum Up on Led lights and dimmer switches do’s and don’ts

By using LED lamps you will see a significant drop in your electricity bill as they use so much less power than the 50-watt halogen type GU 10 lamps.

If you need any help designing your lighting or your interested in intelligent lighting systems, why not contact one of our team for a chat to see what we can do for you. Call us on 020 7473 7807

Or email us at Info@RoyalDocksElectrical.com for a FREE Quotation.

So good luck and remember to get the right materials for the right installation.

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