I’m here to tell you: for the most part, that “dimmable” bit is a lie. At least if you use regular old dimmers, that is. It’s a problem I’ve run into at several locations throughout the house as I’ve moved to a full-blown Lutron lighting control system automated by Control4 this week. The Lutron dimmers — great as they are — just don’t play well with the ultra-low loads that LEDs provide (to put things in perspective, the 7-watt LED in my foyer will straight up blind you if you look at it directly).
So, as a green-home-tech-obsessed home automation junky, I find myself torn. I really believe LED lighting is the future. But dimming is such a huge part of my lifestyle. What to do? For now, my LEDs are on switches, with the dimmers reserved for energy-efficient halogen lamps.
If you’re not into full-blown, comprehensive automation and you feel the way I do, though, you might want to take a look at Philips’ new Hue Personal Wireless Lighting system. Which builds the dimming (and color changing!) capabilities into the base of the bulb itself, to avoid the issues inherent with trying to use traditional dimmer switches and load control.
There’s also hope, given the fact that Hue uses Zibgee wireless communication, that it may well be compatible with home automation systems like Control4 in the near future. But for now, the mobile apps look to offer some neat futures.
At $199.95 for the starter pack (which includes the controller and three bulbs), and $59.95 for each additional bulb, Hue isn’t cheap, but then again, you won’t be spending a hefty chunk of change to replace your home’s existing dimmers, so in the long run, the price evens out.
Site: [Meet the Hue]