How To Pick A Dimmable Floor Lamp (Everything You Need To Know)

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In this article we’ll be discussing whether it’s better to go for a traditional incandescent lamp, or a high efficiency LED, when it comes to picking a dimmable floor lamp.

This may seem like an easy decision – all those benefits of LEDs: low power consumption, instant light, no heating up and cooling down – would cast the old fashioned filaments in unfavorable light. 

But there are some important considerations you should make before making your final decision. 

So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?


First things first, what is a dimmable lamp?

A dimmable lamp is one of the simplest and most effective ways to adjust the brightness levels of your home or office lighting. 

What you can do with a dimmable lamp, is change its output by adjusting the power input, typically via a remote control or by an automated system using wires or light sensors.

The main advantage of using a dimmable floor lamp with remote, as opposed to conventional incandescent or halogen lamps, is that it will save you money on energy bills. 

This is because you’ll be able to control the power consumption of each light bulb individually, meaning that you won’t waste energy unnecessarily, and it also provides a more gentle sight for your eyes.

To give you an idea, a dimmable lamp consumes 80% less energy than a conventional incandescent lamp, and halogen lamps are even more efficient. 

And while modern LEDs are efficient and environment-friendly, it’s important to make sure that your dimmable lamp is designed with quality in mind.

Let’s look at some basic facts about dimmable floor lamps, that way you can make an educated decision when picking a dimmable floor lamp:

Fact #1: Dimmable Floor Lamps Are Usually Incandescent or Halogen-Based

Dimmable lamps are typically either incandescent or halogen based. 

Halogen is a variation of the incandescent lamp, with certain modifications intended to create a harsher light output that is equivalent to that of an incandescent lamp.

Incandescent lamps are a type of light bulb in which the filament is heated continuously by an electric current passing through it. 

The most common incandescent lamps are either Edison or Halogen lamps, while in terms of light quality, they can differ in that an Edison lamp has a more even distribution of light, while halogen lights tend to have a cooler, bluish tint to them.

Halogen lamps are famous for their ability to produce cool, purplish-blue color tones. They are popular for their high intensity, and an advantage of the halogen-based dimmable lamps is that they produce a more even light output.

In most cases, dimmable lamps are incandescent based, which makes them ideal for most applications.

Fact #2: Dimmable Floor Lamp Base Types: Metal or Plastic?

Metal bases are generally made from stainless steel, whereas plastic bases are usually made from polycarbonate. 

The main difference between the two is that metal bases are more resistant to temperature, meaning that they will not deform or warp under heat. 

Metal bases are also very sturdy and durable, making them ideal for countertop applications in kitchens or bathrooms. 

However, stainless steel can rust over time, particularly if there’s a lot of moisture in the air. Consequently, this is why dimmable lamps with plastic bases are preferred. They’re more resilient and durable than metal-based dimmable lamps.

Fact #3: Dimmable Lamps Are Not Suitable for Outdoor Use

Because of the dimmable lamp’s potential to heat up under use, it is not suitable for outdoor applications. 

Dimmable lamps are meant to be used in indoor, dry environments. If you do decide to use a dimmable lamp outdoors, you’ll need to take into account the elevated temperatures and humidity levels in those areas. 

Most dimmable lamps have a maximum operating temperature of around 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit).

What happens if you use non-dimmable bulb in a dimmer?

You may be wondering what happens if you try to fit a non-dimmable bulb in a dimmer switch. 

The answer is that it’s likely to overheat and cause a fire or explosion. You need to be extra careful when changing your bulbs, as not all night lamps for room are dimmable compatible. 

Don’t forget to check the specifications of your lighting fixtures, and don’t assume that a non-dimmable bulb is compatible with a dimmer switch. 

Just because they both have an Edison screw base, doesn’t mean that they are both meant for use in dimmer switches. You could end up causing a fire if you use one in the other. So if you can, just check before using.

Final Thoughts

Most lighting fixtures with dimmer switches are suitable for use with LED lights. However, if you’re looking for a solution that is designed specifically to be used in dimmer switches, look out for the Energy Star insignia on packaging and lamp bases.

The Energy Star insignia indicates that the product meets specific energy efficiency standards. Dimmable lamps aren’t guaranteed to save you money unless they meet these standards. 

You can also look out for the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label which indicates that the product meets certain safety standards.

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