We conducted 15 tests on LED bulbs and dimmers

October 13th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

We conducted tests on our top five dimmable LED bulbs, two of the most popular LED dimmers, and one ridiculously hard to find electronic low voltage dimmer.

Lutron 153PLeviton 6674Leviton 6615
(ELV; requires neutral)
Philips 9.5W Warm GlowBarely perceptible buzz.  Very minor flicker between 30% and 60%Barely perceptible buzz.  Slight "whine" could be heard in a quiet room.  Very minor flicker at 30% only.  Dims up to full brightness somewhat slowly.
This is a good combination, if you can't find an ELV dimmer or you don't have a neutral.
Silent.  No flicker.
Best choice!
Feit Enhance 9.5WModerate buzz.  Very minor flicker below 33%.Moderate buzz at 33% only.  Barely perceptible buzz otherwise.  Flicker.Barely perceptible buzz.  No flicker.  ~1/2 second delay to turn on while dimmed.
Good choice, but Philips Warm Glow bulbs are cheaper and perform better.
Sunbeam/L'Image 9.9W (High CRI)Moderate buzz.  Very minor flicker between 25-50%.Moderate buzz.  Very minor flicker between 25-50%.Silent.  No flicker.  ~1 second delay to turn on while dimmed.
Good choice, if you don't mind the startup delay.
Noma 3000K 8.5WModerate buzz.  Very minor flicker below 33%.Barely perceptible buzz.  Flicker below 50%.Silent.  Very minor flicker below 33%.
Cree 4Flow 10WModerate buzz.  Flicker.Moderate buzz.  Flicker at 66% and below 33%.Silent.  Very minor flicker below 33%.

As you can see, our Lutron 153P did not perform well with any of our bulbs.  We don't usually return products to a store after damaging the packaging, but there was no other way to open it, and the dimmer didn't perform worth crap.  So, back it went.

The Leviton 6674 universal CFL/LED dimmer really only performed well with our Philips Warm Glow bulb.  It looks great.  The sound is mildly annoying in a quiet room, but if you don't have a neutral at your switch box and can't use an electronic low voltage dimmer, this is the best combination we have found.

The Leviton 6615 trailing-edge electronic low voltage dimmer performed extremely well with our Philips Warm Glow bulb, and very well with our Feit Enhance and Sunbeam bulbs.  Unfortunately this dimmer is no longer available at both Rona and Canadian Tire and we've had no success finding replacements.  If you know where to get them in Canada at a reasonable price, please let us know in the comments below.  Note: electronic low voltage is not the same as magnetic low voltage.


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