Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best dimmer switch 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2018
Best dimmer switch of 2018
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 dimmer switch on the market. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this dimmer switch win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this dimmer switch come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this dimmer switch take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers.
dimmer switch Buyer’s Guide
Belkin WeMo Light Switches
Lutron Switches, are convenient because toggling them is as natural as hitting a normal light switch. Plus, you get the added smarts of remote control, scheduling and automation.
In-wall light switches are convenient to use, but take some work to set up.
Clinton directs and shoots videos for Stark Insider. Recent projects include BTS short LUZIA with Cirque du Soleil, short film collection WHO IS STARK INSIDER?, and art-doc WRONG’S WHAT I DO BEST shot on location at the San Francisco Art Institute. His Broadway shorts, such as SHREK UNMASKED, have garnered acclaim. He’s worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and “studied under” filmmaker Werner Herzog. He also writes on Stark Insider about the San Francisco arts scene, Napa, Silicon Valley and gadgets.
Some switches have lights for Indicators of dimming levels.
All in all, Timers are mostly convenience aspects on smart wall switches that are for the most part, secondary. But, for those of you interested, keep this in mind, as some switches on our list support this feature, and others do not.
The Wi-fi signal we all know.
Wi-fi is the wireless connection protocol we all used to hook our phones, laptops and tablets to the internet. Some of these smart wall switches connect directly to your Wi-fi and hooking up to the internet. This is unlike Z-Wave products which require a special unit and is more costly due to this. By using the modem as the center unit, every application connected can be accessed from not only within Wi-fi range but from outside it as well.
Every smart wall switch (minus the Belkin Wion) look smooth and sleek. While my favorite is the Lutron Caseta due to its amazing small remote, every other switch is just as great. However, if I had to choose which smart switch is my least favorite, then it would be the Z-Wave units due to their incompatibility with Alexa and phones, making hubs a must. As you all have a nice variety to choose from, I think each wall switch here is worth every dollar. If anything, I would choose a Smart Wall Switch with exactly what I would want. And of course, I would choose one which would fit in with the wall, and not stick out like a sore thumb.
6.x 1.x 1.inches iHome’s outdoor plug can withstand the elements, which makes it great for powering all those tree lights and outdoor displays you put up every December. It only has one plug, though, so you may need several to get juice to all of your lights.
You really don’t think about electricity too much, unless you are an electrician. Just put a device into the wall, flip a switch, and it works. But knowing a few basics about electricity before you buy a dimmer can be helpful. Manufacturers like Hinkley utilize many of the below basic electricity details in their instruction manuals. Verify that the light fixture you buy has these details in their manuals.
There are basic dimmer functions.
Adjustment: to adjust the intensity of light. Done with a knob, slide, or touch pad.
Presets: When you turn off the light, then turn it on, the dimmer remembers the intensity. This is done with separate intensity controls and an on/off switch.
Remote / 3-Way: These allow you to control lights from more than location.
Indicator Light: This makes it easy to locate in a dark room, or tell the difference between off and very dim.
Dimmers for Multiple Lights or High Wattage Lights
There are extra considerations with dimmers for high wattages (1000 watts and over), dimmers for low voltage fixtures, and multiple dimmers that share a faceplate (called ganging).
Why you should trust me
I’ve written about consumer electronics for over 1years and have tested smart-home products from remotes and security cameras to AV receivers and speakers. As an editor for Electronic House and Big Picture Big Sound, I’ve written buyer’s guides for all kinds of consumer electronics. I’ve also done tech-related work for Wired, Woman’s Day, GeekMom, Men’s Health, USA Today, and others.
Although I performed hours of testing on each product myself, my husband, who is a licensed electrician, completed each switch installation. He’s installed literally thousands of switches and was able to help evaluate each installation and the build quality of each switch; this also made swapping out switches times faster than if I’d done it. If you aren’t comfortable or familiar with wiring, it’s always best to have a professional do it.
Who should get this
Everyone can benefit from smart lighting. Most of us have left lights on, or walked into a completely dark house. Smart lighting allows you to turn those lights on and off from almost anywhere using a smartphone, as well as use an app to set schedules so the lights will, for example, power on and off automatically based on certain times of day.
There are many smart lighting products available, including bulbs, plug-in switches, and dimmers. Some connect directly to your Wi-Fi network; others connect to a smart-home hub using wireless technologies such as Z-Wave or ZigBee. A Wi-Fi–enabled smart bulb is easy to get up and running (pretty much everyone knows how to screw in a lightbulb, right?), and they’re great if you want to automate or control a single lamp.
A smart switch is a more permanent fixture, allowing you to control one or more lights on a circuit. These in-wall controllers work with almost any type of bulb—except smart bulbs, which would be redundant, plus smart bulbs on smart switches often create a humming noise.
We recently took an in-depth look at Z-Wave in-wall dimmers designed specifically for owners of Z-Wave smart-home hubs, such as SmartThings or Wink. For this guide, we looked at a few different wireless switches, with the bulk using Wi-Fi technology. All of these models can add ambiance and save electricity. Most of these wireless switches also work without the need for a smart-home hub (though some may require their own Internet bridge), easily connecting to your home’s existing wireless network. In-wall wireless switches can control one or more lights in the home and typically integrate with other smart devices in the home.
Because no other devices are needed in most cases, swapping your current switches with wireless switches should be easy. However, all but one of them—the Lutron Caséta—require a neutral wire in the switch box. It should be there already, but some older homes may not have this readily available. Just know that swapping out light switches isn’t for everyone. It can actually be dangerous. If you aren’t comfortable with turning off the power and poking around inside the wall, please hire a licensed electrician to do the job.
How we picked
Most of the dimmers and switches we installed share the same rocker-button style, with the exception of the Lutron Caséta, which sports multiple buttons.
We also considered two models that use proprietary wireless technologies because, frankly, they don’t really fit anywhere else and, more important, they fill the same need as Wi-Fi–based models. Lutron Caséta Wireless uses the company’s Clear Connect RF technology, and Insteon is a dual-mesh technology that combines wireless radio frequency (RF) and your existing electrical wiring.
How we tested
The part of a wireless switch that goes inside the wall is bulkier than the average light switch, due to the extra technology built in. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to get out a handsaw, but it does make the installation slightly more difficult than your average light-switch swap. Except for the Lutron dimmer, each in-wall product we reviewed also requires a neutral wire. If you have older switches, you may not have this wire inside the existing box. If this is the case, you’ll have to hire an electrician to rewire the entire switch configuration or you should reconsider putting a wireless in-wall switch in that location. Without digging into every switch in our house, we opted to do our testing in the living room and dining room, where we knew we had the right wiring already.
It’s important to note that some switches are designed for single-pole operation, and others offer three-way (and in the case of iDevices, four-way) functionality. A single-pole switch can control one light or a series of lights from one switch, and a three-way switch can control one or more lights from two locations, such as at the bottom and top of the stairs. A four-way switch can control lights from multiple locations. When installing non-smart switches, a single-pole switch has two terminals, three-way switches have three, and four-way switches have four. However, in the case of smart in-wall switches, most install the same as a single-pole switch. The lone exception of the models we tested is the Leviton, which will operate as a three-way switch only if you have the appropriate wiring.
Even with the larger switch body and the wiring requirements, it took my in-house electrician less than minutes to complete each installation, which included shutting off the electricity at the circuit breaker and removing the old switches.
We tested each switch separately for approximately two weeks, and all allowed us to turn lights on and off, as well as set schedules using each device’s respective smartphone app. Dimmers added the option to trigger the applicable light to dim at a certain time of day. We also tested to see if any of the switches had a noticeable delay between when we used a control and when the connected lights responded. All of the models we tested switched lights on and off immediately, both when physically touching the switch and when using the controls through its app.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
As mentioned, the Lutron Caséta Wireless In-Wall Dimmer isn’t a Wi-Fi dimmer. It uses Clear Connect RF technology, so you’ll need the Smart Bridge hub (or a Wink hub). That up-front cost makes it a little pricier than some of the stand-alone Wi-Fi switches on our list, so if you’re upgrading only one switch, you might be better off with one of our other picks. However, Lutron does have a starter package that makes it slightly more affordable. Once you have that hub in place, the cost of spreading smart lighting to other areas of your home is comparable to (or less than) that of the other dimmers on our list.
What to look forward to
As we wrapped up testing in spring 2017, Koogeek started working on its own HomeKit-enabled in-wall Wi-Fi switch. One is designed for one-gang installs, the other for two-gang configurations. In May of the same year, Ecobee debuted plans to get into smart lighting. The Ecobee Switch+ will pack Alexa and far-field voice recognition into a smart light switch.
Promising single-pole, three-way, and four-way functionality, the iDevices Wall Switch is just as expensive as the Plum, but isn’t quite as pretty, offering the same night-light feature that can be found on iDevice’s smart plug. That night-light can be turned off or tweaked to a variety of different colors using the company’s iOS and Android apps, as well as HomeKit. However, Alexa support is limited to on-off functions. It should also be noted that our test model came attached to a box with its own power supply; the company was unable to furnish an uninstalled unit.
Like the Ankuoo Neo, the WiOn Indoor In-Wall Wi-Fi Switch is very basic. The single-pole switch offers the same limited features, including remote control via iOS and Android, schedules, timers, and countdowns. However, it’s more expensive than the Neo and the graphics in the app look “worn,” almost like they’ve been photocopied multiple times and placed inside the screen.
Colour and colour temperature
Warm white, cool light, daylight: choosing a ‘simple’ white lightbulb can be more complicated than it seems.
The colour temperature of a bulb makes a big difference to the kind of light it emits and is denoted by a 4-digit number followed by the letter ‘K’ (which stands for Kelvin).
The colour temperature of most bulbs is between 2000K-6500K. A 2000K bulb would give off a very warm, yellow light, suitable for cosy living rooms or bedrooms, while a 6500K one would be what is known as a ‘Daylight’ bulb, as it is supposed to recreate exactly that.
If you’re shopping for a warm white lightbulb for the home, look for anything around 2500-3000K, while anything over 4000K would give you a nice cool light.
Alternatively, you can find a wide variety of coloured or colour-changing lightbulbs. These will be labelled quite clearly with their colour. ‘RGB’ bulbs allow you to pick from a variety of different colours.
Watts and lumens
Do not use a bulb’s wattage to determine its brightness.
The ‘lumens’ rating gives a more accurate indication of how bright a lightbulb is. This is especially important when choosing LED lightbulbs as they can give out the same brightness as an incandescent bulb using much less power. For example, an LED lightbulb that uses only watts (W) of power emits around the same brightness as a traditional 50W bulb (see to find out how we know this).
The wattage of a bulb should still be taken into consideration to make sure it’s compatible with your fittings. The low wattage of LED lightbulbs gives you a lot more flexibility, but you should still not exceed the stated wattage of any light fixture.
LED lightbulbs are incredibly long lasting compared to their incandescent counterparts. The average rated life of a product will tell you roughly how many hours life you should get out of it before it fails. Importantly, though, don’t mix the rated life up with the manufacturer’s warranty period, as the two may not always be the same.
If an LED bulb fails within its manufacturer’s warranty period, you are entitled to a replacement bulb. If it fails outside of this period, you are not, even if the bulb has not reached the average rated life stated on the product.
The manufacturer’s warranty should be stated clearly on any product. Contact us for help if it is not.
Other technical details
The following points aren’t the most important factors in buying a lightbulb, but may help you find the perfect one for your needs.
If you’re buying spotlights, the beam angle may be something to think about. Measured in degrees, the beam angle of a light determines how wide or how narrow the beam of light is that the bulb emits. A 40° beam angle, for instance, would have a very narrow, focused beam suited to retails displays, while a 100° beam angle would cast a wider light more suitable for lighting corridors or larger rooms.
Some lightbulbs come with a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) rating. This tells you how well a bulb reproduces the colours of the environment around it. High CRI bulbs are useful for photography studios, where capturing the natural colour of objects is really important. If you’re just buying a bulb for general use in the home, this is likely not something you need to worry too much about.
The most recognisable type of bulb, and the easiest to replace. Let’s say you have a standard 60W incandescent bulb which you use to light your lounge and replace it with a 12W Verbatim LED bulb. This is overkill, if anything, as the replacement will be noticeably brighter (producing 1,100 lumens – the equivalent of a 77W incandescent bulb and representing 8percent energy saving).
Using some average figures – 15p per kWh of electricity – you’ll save around £per year.
They’re said to last for 25,000 hours – the same as the Verbatim – and you’ll break even in roughly two years.
There are various types of incandescent bulb. The common version – in the photo above – is an E2screw, but it can also have a traditional bayonet fitting. Most LED bulbs offer a choice of either fitting.
You may also have R50 spotlight bulbs (also known as SES or E14) in ceiling light fittings. These are fairly widely available as LED versions.
However, using the same SES / E1screw fitting are many ‘candle’ bulbs. Again, these are easily available in LED.
All of these are inefficient and can be replaced with LEDs. Halogen spotlights are perhaps the worst culprits as although they use less power than incandescent bulbs, they’re rarely used singly. Typically there will be up to six or eight per room, and if each is a 35W lamp, that’s between 200 and 300W. Halogens are notoriously inefficient, such that you can buy ‘energy-efficient’ halogen bulbs, but even these save only around a third.
Halogens come in two main types: GU(mains voltage) and MR1(low voltage – 12V). Just because some are low voltage doesn’t mean they use less power. They don’t.
Don’t forget your outdoor lighting. Halogen floodlights – which have lamps which consume between 120 and 500 watts – can be replaced with 10- or 20W LED versions for around £to £20 per light: you replace the entire light fitting. This 10W model costs only £9.9from Toolstation.
Colour temperature is crucial: most people prefer the warm white, which is very similar to halogen, rather than the ‘cold’ bluish tint of white or cool-white LEDs. Look out for the actual colour temperature in Kelvin: 2700-3000K is a good warm white. Higher values, say 5000K or 6000K will look cooler. If you want a whiter look, be careful as you can end up with a very clinical look.
You also need to look at brightness, measured in lumens. Try to find out how many lumens your current halogen lamps produce, and match or exceed that. Some cheap LED bulbs produce as little as 120lm, but you’ll probably find you need 350-400lm to provide the same light output as your existing bulbs.
Next up is beam angle. This determines the spread of light the bulb produces. A narrower angle means light will be concentrated on a smaller area, like a spotlight. A larger angle is better for lighting a larger area, but don’t forget this means it could appear dimmer overall. For replacing Halogen downlights, look for a beam angle of around 40 degrees. Incadescent replacements should have a much larger beam angle, say 140 degrees.
CRI is another spec you should see (if you don’t, it’s worth asking for the CRI figure). Here’s why: CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index and is a measure of the light quality from 0 to 100. In other words, the CRI score tells you if objects appear the correct colour when lit using that bulb. Incandescent bulbs had a brilliant CRI, but not so with fluorescent tubes. If you want to avoid bad-looking lighting, it’s crucial to go for LEDs with a high CRI.
Not all LEDs use the same technology. Cheaper bulbs will tend to use multiple SMD (surface-mount device) LEDs, but newer or more expensive ones will use COB – chip on-board LEDs.
COB offers a higher light output per watt, and tends to be used in smaller bulbs such as MR1COB isn’t necessarily better than SMD, though. It depends on the form factor of the bulbs you’re buying and your priorities in terms of budget.
If you are replacing low-voltage halogen bulbs, there are no guarantees that LEDs will work on your particular transformers which may require a minimum power draw to work properly. If the draw is too low from your super-efficient LED bulbs, they may flicker or not work at all. In this case, you would need to either replace the transformers with proper LED drivers, or change the fittings from MR1to mains-voltage GUfittings and buy GULED bulbs instead. Fittings are cheap, and it may be cheaper to go down this route than buy an LED driver for each MR1bulb.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your dimmer switch wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of dimmer switch
- №1 — Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch
- №2 — Lutron Diva C.L Dimmer for dimmable LED
- №3 — Lutron DVW600PH-WH Electronics Diva Duo Dimmers