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Any homeowner will tell you that a cozy household is all about atmosphere. And while it’s not necessarily the most important leg of the homemaking process, swapping out your old light switches for LED dimmers can add a relaxing atmosphere to any room.
While it may be tempting to purchase the first LED dimmer switch you set your sights on, there are plenty of things to consider before making your final decision. First thing’s first: Determine how much money you’re willing to part with, as well as how many features — like Amazon Alexa compatibility — you’re looking for in an LED light dimmer switch.
Since dimmer switches run the gamut from a few dollars to nearly a hundred, deciding on an ideal purchase more or less comes down to your budget. With this in mind, read on for our best LED dimmer switches to buy in 2018.
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Best Overall: Insteon SwitchLinc Remote Control Dimmer
The Insteon SwitchLinc is hard to beat when it comes to delivering an atmospheric lighting experience to every household. This nifty dimmer, which can control up to 600 watts, can be controlled via your remote control, smartphone, computer or Amazon Alexa (via the Insteon hub). Happy buyers love having the ability to control their house’s lighting via their iPads with the tap of a finger.
The Insteon SwitchLinc — which comes in a variety of colors to choose from, including white, almond, black and gray — even remembers your brightness settings for the busy homeowner who doesn’t have time to fiddle with their light switches all day.
Satisfied buyers with Alexa-controlled smart homes compare this dimmer switch to a “workhorse.” On the other hand, some buyers, while satisfied, report that installation of this product can be a hassle if you’re not experienced with Dual Band technology. You could always opt for Amazon’s expert installation services, ans, while this would set you back a pretty penny, it would also ensure that your new Insteon SwitchLinc dimmer switch is properly integrated into your high-tech home.
02 of 07
Best Budget: Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch
The Philips Hue Smart is a great starter kit for those who want to replace their homes’ worn-out light switches with remote controlled LED dimmers without breaking the bank in the process. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant — as well as Nest and Samsung SmartThings systems — this dimmer switch boasts a variety of high-end features that won’t push you over-budget.
A tap of your fingertips on your smartphone, and voila! You can even customize your dimmer to react differently depending upon how you interact with the switch — for instance, customers describe how they’ve programmed their lights to dim to a certain percentage at one tap, then turn a different color at another tap, and so on.
Whether you prefer a warm glow or a cool, drowsy hue, this dimmer switch lets you adjust the lighting in your home to the level of your choosing. Ironically, many of Philips’ happiest customers appreciate this fixture’s ability to be controlled via the wall unit itself — instead of by remote — thus bridging the gap between traditional wall switch and high-tech, remote controlled fixture.
03 of 07
Runner-Up, Best Budget: Lutron Maestro Companion Dimmer
Philips isn’t the only producer of budget-friendly light dimmer switches on the market — Lutron is one of the biggest names in the game and their Maestro Companion is an affordable light dimmer switch that combines an unbeatable price with solid performance. It even boasts the ability to setup multi-room lighting by wiring it in conjunction with additional companion dimmers via multi-location dimmer.
The Lutron Maestro companion is a great alternative to higher-end models. According to the testimonies of happy customers, Lutron’s dimmer is best utilized in combination with other Lutron Maestro products — a process that effectively streamlines your lighting, allowing the lights in multiple rooms to be controlled from a “master” switch.
If you do intend to utilize the Maestro Companion Dimmer for multi-room lighting, it’s probably best to consult with a professional first — or immediately before trying to install it yourself — to determine exactly what you need to create the perfect multi-room setup for your home. After all, according to customers, Lutron’s instructions aren’t exactly the clearest around.
04 of 07
Best Smart Dimmer Starter Kit: Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit
Setting up a single dimmer in your home is one thing — optimizing the lighting in your entire home is another. For the complete package, look no further than Lutron’s Caseta Starter Kit. This combo pack truly feels straight out of the future — and it comes bursting with everything you need to transform your outdated house into a 21st century smart home.
Inside this package, you’ll find one smart bridge — required to extend dimming capabilities to other rooms — along with one wall smart dimmer and its corresponding wall plate, as well as one Pico remote for optimum control over your home’s ambience. The Caseta can also be controlled remotely using Alexa or an app such as Ecobee, Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech, Samsung SmartThings or Apple HomeKit (yes, that means you can even order Siri to adjust your lights).
While Lutron claims its products can be set up easily in 15 minutes or so, some buyers disagree, claiming that a basic knowledge of electrical wiring and current technology is a must. In other words, if you’re not an experienced DIYer, chances are a professional installation is the way to go with the Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Smart Dimmer Single Switch: Leviton Decora Smart LED Dimmer
Whether you’ve reached the lighting portion of your basement finishing project or simply want to add a modern touch to a vintage-style study, not every home needs a whole system dedicated to house-wide lighting. Sometimes a strategically placed light controlled by a single Leviton Deocra Smart LED Dimmer switch makes all the difference when it comes to adding a touch of elegant ambience to any space.
The Leviton Decora Smart LED Dimmer switch is a great entry into the world of Wi-Fi-controlled lighting, allowing users to raise and lower their lights using their personal iOS or Android devices. That means not having to install a separate bulky hub, even if you do to want to install multiple switches across your home for uniform lighting.
With a variety of additional special features such as auto-shutoff, home vs. away mode and customizable settings that auto-adjust depending on the time of day, this fixture is a veritable must-have for aesthetically-oriented homeowners everywhere.
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Best Basic Dimmer: Lutron Skylark Dimmer
Every homeowner has their own idea of what constitutes a cozy home — and, contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t always include a lighting system controlled via Wi-Fi. Lutron’s Skylark Dimmer is an old-school dimmer operated manually by a sliding lever that’s ideal for the elderly and homeowners without access to smartphones. Adjusting your LED lights with this easy-to-install switch is a cinch: slide it up to brighten the room, slide it down to dim your lights — it’s that simple.
This Lutron Skylark Dimmer isn’t just ideal for dimming lights, though. According to reviewers, it can also be hooked up to a ceiling fan for easy access to cool air without the struggle that comes with reaching the chain.
Customers are raving about the simplicity with which this dimmer operates — and how easy it is to install for those without electrical training. All in all, the Lutron Skylark Dimmer is perfect for homeowners without the need for a high-tech household.
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Best Plug-In Dimmer: Lutron Credenza Dimmer
There’s a reason Lutron’s name has cropped up on this list over and over — and that’s because they manufacture a wide selection of reliable and versatile products. Depending on your living situation, you may not be able — or allowed — to replace your light switch. That’s where Lutron’s Credenza Dimmer, a dimmer that can be plugged into an outlet, comes in handy. Ideal for lamps and smaller light fixtures, this dimmer works with up to 100-watt LEDs and 250-watt incandescent and halogen bulbs.
No wiring is required with this dimmer — simply plug it into the wall, and then plug your lamp into the dimmer. It’s an easy, stress-free process that takes mere seconds. This kind of dimmer switch is a perfect gift idea for the college student in your life — after all, they can’t exactly swap out their dorm light switch, and the ability to dim their desk lamp means they can study all night without waking their roommates.