How to Dim Lights Without a Dimmer

How to Dim Lights Without a Dimmer?

The idea of dimming your lights without using a dimmer might sound absolute bonkers. However, it’s actually possible – just like you would with normal light. To pull this off, you don’t even need a 12V dimmer switch or an outside dimmer switch. Basically, what you need is a normal switch which you have in your wall or fixture.

But before we talk about how to dim lights without a dimmer, let’s talk about the reasons why you’d want to.

Why Use Dimmable Lights without a Dimmer?

There are three main reasons why you’d want to use dimmable lights without the need for a dimmer switch. They’re as follows:

  • You can have more options – since you aren’t limited to non-dimmable lighting options, you will be able to expand your options when purchasing new lightbulbs and spotlights.
  • Your lighting will become more flexible – by keeping your options open, you no longer have to go through the hassle of changing your light switches to compatible dimmers. By going for dimmable lights that don’t require a dimmer, you will no longer have to buy dimmable versions in the future should you decide to change your mind.
  • Dimmable lights are way cheaper – in case you’re not yet convinced, then perhaps the fact that dimmable lights, such as dimmable LED flood lights for example, are now sold at very affordable prices just might! In fact, there’s almost no point in retailers keeping several stacks of non-dimmable lighting in their inventory.

Methods for Dimming Lights without a Dimmer

There are three different methods you can follow regarding how to dim lights without a dimmer. The first method involves the use of Sceneswitch bulbs. Courtesy of Philips, these bulbs will seamlessly work with your existing light switch. 

What it does is change the color of your lights with just a flip of the switch without the need to invest in a dimmer which can be quite expensive. Also, it provides you with three different color temperatures to suit your environment. Alternatively, you can also use a dimming bulb which has a built-in dimming mechanism that allows you to dim your light using the same switch you used to turn it on. 

You can also find dimmable LED bulbs which are way cheaper than the traditional non-dimmable versions but still provide the same, if not better, lighting quality.

Smart bulbs normally have a corresponding smartphone app where you can have access to several lighting (and dimming) options. Source:

The second option is by using smart bulbs. They are an advanced type of lightbulb that are controllable by a smartphone app. However, while they can be dimmed without the use of a dimmer, they normally have a high initial price. They can be a great option if you don’t mind their expensive price. 

The third option is by performing a DIY project which involves building a dimmable bulb that has a diode. However, this option is the least recommended as it can be dangerous due to the associated shock risks. If you have no technical and electrical knowledge, it’s best to avoid this option.

While it’s possible to do a DIY dimming project, you should only tackle if you have advanced knowledge regarding electricity and lighting

Final Thoughts

There are several types of dimmable lights available in the market. With that, you have to choose which type of lighting you prefer to have in your room. If you want more traditional lighting, you can go for dimmable incandescent lights. However, if you prefer more energy-efficient lighting without compromising its lighting quality, then LED lights are the better choice.

On the other hand, if you can afford to spend more on quality lighting, the best option would be to go for smart bulbs as they’re way more convenient and user-friendly.

Regardless of your choice, what matters is that you picked the type of lighting that suits your room without having to invest in an expensive dimmer switch.

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