Smart bulbs and dimmers

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by johngordon, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. johngordon macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #1
    I’m just looking at getting some smart bulbs and just have a question about dinners.

    We have some spotlights in our kitchen that have a dinner switch. But since putting low wattage LEDs in them, they flicker with the dimmer switch. They are OK at 100%, just flicker when you dim them down.

    Should we be OK to use smart bulbs that should dim using their smarts, or might there be any issues?
     
  2. MacintoshDan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #2
    You are going to want to keep the switch on at 100. The bulbs dim themselves.
     
  3. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #3
    A good rule of thumb is to not combine a smart bulb and a smart switch. Smart bulbs should be given full power.

    Edit: I assumed you meant a smart switch dimmer, but upon rereading, I assume you meant a plain old dimmer.
     
  4. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    You can still get flickering with smart bulbs, for instance the Hue bulb in my wife’s side table lamp flickers at certain percentages of power, that’s using either the Home app or the Philips app to adjust it.

    My office Hue bulb which is controlled by a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch in addition to the software also flickers at certain levels.

    Likely caused by a great many things, including how clean and isolated your wiring is.

    But it’s not a problem, nor is it dangerous and all you have to do to stop it if it happens is put the level up or down by 1%.

    Of course you should never use an old fashioned, non-smart, dimmer switch if you install smart bulbs. Don’t even have them on the wall and set to full on. Disconnect them and put a standard light switch, or a smart switch in its place.
     
  5. johngordon, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

    johngordon thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. At the moment we just switch them on, and as long as they're at 100% they don't flicker. So wasn't sure if the smart bulbs would be OK with the old switch at full, and just use the apps to dim them.

    I might get a couple to try out, and if there's a problem just get the original switch changed to a regular switch.

    Was thinking about replacing 2x3 spots in our dining room with 2x2. Its probably not that big a saving, but going from having to have 6 spots on at 100%, to being able to have any combination of 1-4 and dimmed should make a wee difference. Especially if that is applied throughout the house.

    You can tell I'm Scottish! :)
     
  6. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    Terrible stereotype, my wife’s forever complaining I waste too much money. Well, so she claims, what I hear is, yes dear of course you can buy it :D

    So long as you leave the dimmer on full you shouldn’t damage the bulbs, although it’s generally not recommended (by the manufacturers either) to have a dimmer switch on the same circuit as it can lead to erratic behaviour you’ll know pretty quickly.
    If they start flickering like crazy or flash on full then off at random intervals, you’ll know you need to get a standard switch on there.
     
  7. johngordon thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004

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6 February 14, 2018