Can Recessed Lighting Be Dimmable?

When it comes to home decor, few things tie a room together, like beautiful lighting. As a result, people often turn to recessed lighting to bring class and consistency to their homes. Another fashionable lighting trend is dimmable and adjustable lighting. Adjusting the intensity of light in a room leads to a range of choices in ambiance. But you might be asking: can you combine these two trends in lighting? Well, we have researched this very question for you. 

The good news is that recessed lighting can be dimmable, and installing a dimmer switch is relatively simple. You can also purchase a variety of kits that allow for dimmable lighting in your recessed lights. In addition, recessed lights come in many options ranging from cosmetic to the lights themselves, allowing for significant amounts of customization. Dimming is simply one option among these. 

There is a lot that goes into customizing lights, including dimming options. Continue reading on below as we look into the options available to owners of recessed lighting in the home. 

Interior of a luxurious living room with gorgeous recessed lighting, Can Recessed Lighting Be Dimmable?

How do I know if my recessed lights are dimmable?

A light's ability to be dimmable or not lies in its bulbs. Bulbs that can be dimmable are incandescent,  some LED, and halogen lightbulbs. These bulbs can have a dimmer switch easily attached to their lighting fixture without any additional requirements. However, fluorescent bulbing requires a bit extra to be made dimmable. 

A living room with gorgeous recessed lighting and a dark brown colored ceiling

Fluorescent bulbs require a dimmable ballast that is either already integrated or purchased separately and then integrated. 

Read now on HomeDecorBliss: 'How To Install LED Strip Lights [In 5 Easy Steps]'

Are All LED Lights Dimmable? 

As mentioned before, some LED lightbulbs are dimmable, and some aren't. So what are the differences that make some capable of being dimmed well and some not? 

LED lights that aren't capable of dimming are capable of two states: ON and OFF. Trying to modulate them into any in-between or dim, the state will cause the bulb to try to self-correct. This will cause failure, and your bulb will fail. LED lights capable of dimming are made to expect drops in current and therefore are built to expect to dim. 

Make sure you've purchased the correct LED lights if you want to incorporate dimming switches into your LED recessed lighting fixtures. Unfortunately, there's no way to modify a lightbulb not equipped to handle current modulation into one that's capable after the fact. 

Installing A Dimmer Switch 

The Tools You'll Need

Installing a dimmer switch for your recessed lighting may seem like a daunting task, but it's a relatively simple DIY project that doesn't require a ton of materials beforehand. To install a dimmer switch on your recessed lighting, you'll need the following materials:

  • A dimmer switch and cover plate
  • Flat and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Wire cutters and wire strippers
  • Non-contact live wire testers

Before you purchase your dimmer switch and begin the installation, you'll need to know if your lighting circuit is a single-pole or a three-way circuit. A single-pole circuit means your lights are controlled from one location, while three-way circuits are controlled from two areas.

Some dimmer switches are universal and can work with either, but some are specific. Read your dimmer's directions, either way, to make sure beforehand. 

Steps To Installing

With that out of the way and your tools purchased, you can start installing. The following bulleted list will give you the steps needed to install your dimmer.

  • First, of course, make sure your power is safely turned off.
  • Remove your old switch and use your live wire tester to make sure the power remains off.
  • Next, remove all the wires connected to the switch. If you have a three-way light, label the wire connected to your "common" screw (this is typically a black screw) before removing the wire. This will help you remember which one it is, which will be necessary later on. 
  • Strip the insulation on all wires about 3/4ths of an inch. 
  • Connect the ground wires. 
  • Connect the remaining wires.  If your light is single-pole, the order won't matter. However, if you're using a three-way circuit, connect your 'common' wire to the corresponding standard wire on the dimmer. Then connect the remaining two wires. 
  • Gently fold the wires up into the switch box and use your screwdriver to secure your dimmer and plate. 

If you follow all these steps, you should have newly dimmable recessed lighting at your disposal in under half an hour! 

See this wall dimmer switch on Amazon.

How many recessed lights can you put on a dimmer switch?

Interior of a luxurious living room with gorgeous recessed lighting, Can Recessed Lighting Be Dimmable?

The answer to this question varies depending on whether you are using LED lights or incandescent lights. 

A general rule of thumb when it comes to LED recessed lighting is to allow for roughly 100 watts per recessed light fixture. Therefore if you have a 600W dimmer, you should have around six lights on the switch and no more. Keep in mind that dimmer switches also have a minimum requirement to run correctly. 

If your dimmer switch doesn't draw enough electricity to keep its switching element close, it will suffer various unpredictable issues—these range from flickering, flashing when off, and reduced range. So make sure you have enough lights connected to avoid these issues. 

Sometimes, the best way to figure out proper minimums and maximums is testing, as tedious as it sounds. So research the variables in your bulbs and dimmer switches, and be prepared to do a little testing. 

Can you make a non-dimmable light fixture dimmable?

Some bulbs just aren't made to be dimmed. Therefore, they cannot handle the changes in current, as they are made to handle either ON or OFF, and that's it. So if your fixture is only made to handle these kinds of bulbs, there's not much to be done. However, if your fixture works with dimmable lightbulbs, a switch can be easily installed.

The best thing you can do is your research ahead of time. For example, purchasing light fixtures you know to be dimmable is far easier than fixing up light fixtures after the fact.

Read now on HomeDecorBliss: 'Can You Put Recessed Lighting In A Garage?' 

Are Halo recessed lights dimmable?

Halo recessed lights are popular due to their clean and attractive physical appearance and long lifespan. They've got beautiful and clean-looking trim that goes with many interiors. These lights can stay comfortably and working well in your home for up to twenty years when cared for properly.

But you might be wondering if they can reap the same benefits of atmospheric light dimming. The good news is they can. 

The LED lights used in Halo's recessed lights are dimmable. You can place dimmers on your walls and even control your lighting with a handy app on your phone, making managing the atmosphere in your home easier than ever. Halo lights are an excellent choice to consider when thinking of dimmable recessed lights for your home. 

View this halo LED integrated recessed ceiling mount on Amazon.

In Closing 

Recessed lighting is a straightforward way to class up the lighting in your home without a ton of effort. It offers a lot of practicality in how much lighting you can have in a relatively compact area, and it allows for a simple and clean look that goes with just about any interior design. Of course, adding dimming and light control to this option is just a wonderful cherry on the top. 

Do your research on how to incorporate these two trends in lighting into your home, and you'll be living cozy and enjoyably in no time with minimal effort. 

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