The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Dimmability

and CFLs. To the untrained eye, they might just seem like comparable alternatives to the incandescent light bulb. But when you dive a little deeper, you’ll find that they’re very different. That’s just what we’re doing in this blog series – you can view the whole series here.

Dimming. In a world where customization is king and energy-saving is of ever-increasing importance, dimming lets you have both. Putting your lights on dimmers saves electricity, using 10% less power when you dim the lights just 10%. (And more if you dim them lower.) Dimmers also let you tailor the lighting scheme to whatever you’re doing.

But, are LEDs and CFLs any good at dimming? Turns out there’s a bit of a discrepancy…

Here’s what we know:

It’s harder to dim LEDs and CFLs, because they don’t use the standard tungsten filament to generate light. But, every week¬†more and more dimmable LED lights are introduced into the marketplace. In fact, a small number of LED lights are even beginning to mimic the way incadescents look when you dim them; they change color from white to yellowish-white to orangish-white to reddish-white.

CFLs, however, due to the very nature of their technology, are difficult to dim. They often need a special dimmer control and even then, the CFLs seem to blink and can suddenly turn off near the lower end of the dimmer range.

So, if dimming is important to you, LED light bulbs are your best energy-efficient choice.

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.