Wall dimmer switch compatible with LED bulbs

I found (using Simon’s AM radio test) nearly all LED lights to be quite noisy, dimmable or not. Some are worse than others though, and I guess that noise isn’t necessarily going to interfere with your HiFi. I do still try to source lights and other electrical items that aren’t too noisy though. A modern home can have dozens, if not hundreds of the things.

When I fitted some uplighters with (dimmable) LED bulbs, the original dimmers didn’t work smoothly and emitted high frequency noise that whilst most of the time only barely audible to me, my sons in their twenties found them highly unpleasant. I replaced the dimmer with Varilight V-Pro 0-150w trailing edge dimmer modules, and they work smoothly, with no-one detecting any noise.

Ted, I apologize if the sound quality issue is a hijack of your thread. Perhaps this deserves a separate thread. I asked the question because I suspect the issue might be important. I have avoided dimmers in our living room with the HiFi, but there are LED bulbs in there. We have dimmers in the kitchen and dining room, on separate circuits to the hifi. I for one consider tasteful and efficient lighting to be essential for quality of life in the household. Therefore it would be of interest to us all to know how to minimize any impact such lighting may have on music replay. I am not free to investigate this at this time, but I would like to learn from others who might (or perhaps have) investigate(d) this.

ChrisSU, that is interesting. You must be detecting radiated noise. I wonder how much noise gets on the power wiring circuits. It is not surprising that such lighting generates noise, but an obvious question is does the noise find its way into our music - and if so what to do about it. I guess we can all try listening in the dark and report back.

Having raised the question, I apologize that I personally have not the time or resources to investigate or start a new thread on the topic.

Hi Charlie, I’m not aware of any audible effect of light fittings, but I have managed to find some LED bulbs that are not noisy at all. We have mostly traditional light fittings designed for tungsten bulbs, and I use filament type LED bulbs in these, as they keep the traditional look that works in an old house, and some (but not all) of these are electrically silent.
Recessed downlights of the type used over kitchen worktops etc. all seem to generate a lot of noise, including the better known brands such as Phillips. All fluorescent lights (including those horrible CFLs we used to use) all seem to be very noisy too.

Just been round the house testing the bulbs. My wife asked what I was doing; when I told her “listening to the bulbs”, she asked if we have the phone number of the local mental hospital. :crazy_face:


2 x large 60w equivalent ASDA BC Led bulbs – Silent

3 x small candle ASDA BC Led bulbs – Silent

1 x small candle Tesco BC Led bulbs – Silent

1 x small candle Tesco BC Led bulbs – Very noisy (buzzing)

1 x small candle Tesco BC Led bulbs – Silent (came in twin pack box with the above noisy bulb).

1 x small candle ASDA Screw Led bulbs –noisy

I also discovered that the area where the hifi is located is noisy (hissing sound), it also contains TV, DVD, xbox and virgin box. Must investigate tomorrow when wife is shopping.


Yes, I usually do this sort of stuff when there’s nobody else in the house!

I’ve used quite a few Sylvania filament LEDs as they are cheap and don’t buzz. The stuff I tried from the big supermarkets and DIY stores didn’t fare so well.

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A couple of weeks ago I went through a problem with the dimmer in my study. The switch failed, and had to be replaced, so I went looking for a dimmer compatible with LED lights. Bought and installed the following 2 items from Amazon :

Amazon Basics LED B22 Bayonet Cap Bulb, 14W (equivalent to 100W), Warm White, Dimmable- Pack of 2 [Energy Class F] (of course I only used one of these from the pack!)

Zigtiger LED Dimmer Switch, Dimmer Switch for Dimmable Led Lights/Incandescent/Halogen, Trailing Edge Dimmer Switches 1 Gang 2-Way

Installed them myself - it’s not rocket science,and the only hard part of the exercise was getting the second fixing screw to mate up with it’s socket on the wall.

No audible effects that I can hear.

I have always used Varilight(V-Pro) dimmers. The company that makes them used to supply the modules for MK dimmers(not sure if they still do though)

Hi Chris… yes in the limit if the appliance is well filtered the noise shouldn’t conduct far…
And also modern consumer electronics are required to be tolerant of a degree of electrical noise… it’s the borderlines cases that can become noticeable and of course those with golden ears.

But it is fair to say some poorly designed switch mode dimmers can be annoying RFI generators… but not as bad as those horrible Powerline adapters that were all the rage 10 or so years ago… and thank goodness superseded for most by modern wifi or Ethernet.

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The details say these also work with changeover operation (e.g. a hallway where you have switch downstairs and upstairs) which is good. About 2-3 years ago I had a session trying to change my dimmers to work with LED bulbs. Single switch location they were fine but changeover setup - waste of time… I gave up and put the tungsten bulbs back. However, if these switches are any good then I’ll give them a go.

The details say these also work with changeover operation (e.g. a hallway where you have switch downstairs and upstairs) which is good

Yes, that’s what I thought too. When we run out of 60 incandescent bulbs for the stairway light, which is on a 2 way switch with dimmer, I’ll probably get Zigtiger switch and give it a go. However, that could be a long time, as we still have 4 bulbs left and the current one has been going strong for 5 years!

Why worry about the old-fashioned wall dimmer switch? Just get the wifi-remote controlled LEDs, and you are all set.

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As an aside to this thread, I find a lot of claims about LED brightless at best misleading…. From both direct experience and assessment of declared brightness data (when given) I think that a factor of about 5 greater efficiency for LEDs compared to tungsten is about right (I.e. a 10w LED is approx the same brightness as a 50W tungsten bulb, when the angle of radiation is the same. Many LED bulbs claim a factor of 10, and as a result people find them disappointing and not infrequently abandon LEDs. And a problem is that all too many LED bulbs sold in normal retail outlets are simply inadequate power, or when ‘warm’ imitating tungsten they are too yellow or an odd shade of yellow. I have a lot of LED lights in my house, but it took a lot of buying of single bulbs as samples to find those that were adequate and pleasing. Perhaps better now? (Most of my 60 or so lights are about 10 years old)

The wifi controllable ones I have seen have been ridiculously expensive so not featured in my considerations.

They are all less than 10 bucks here in the US, and you can set all things imaginable with a light bulb, normal, candle, red, green, blue, high/low brightness, dimmable, pulse, steam punk, etc. whatever you name it, plus timer, wake-up, bedtime.

$10 (about £7.50) for a bulb is ridiculously expensive in my book!

I see, so it depends on how you view it as a fair value for money or not? It’s all relative.

Precisely. And I have tried some fancy (expensive) controllable ones and been disappointed, not getting either a good tungsten (warm) simulated light, nor a truly neutral white (~4000k). A good tungsten simulated colour is indeed elusive, but neutral white is fairly easily found, and at low cost - perfect for all but relaxing living rooms.

I have two such bulbs and the controllability is really quite useful, but I find that having to access the control thru my cell is a tad cumbersome.


Pipdan, Thanks for the info, very informative.

You would find things have changed a lot, even in the last five years. I changed many of my LED bulbs in the last couple of years to get either a brighter illumination or a better colour balance. The difference was dramatic and relatively inexpensive.

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