What is dimmable lighting?

Dimmer switches and controls that enable you to transform the atmosphere of your space be it in a hospitality or residential setting. It also enables you to create flexible, multi purpose spaces from moody & ambient to a more task oriented. This blog will share what you need to know about dimmable lighting, principally covering domestic/residential systems (e.g. local rotary dimming switches) and those not necessarily controlled by automation system. As well as their basic controls, the pitfalls and things to avoid and how to create the perfect atmosphere with your Fritz Fryer light fittings.

Are all lights dimmable?

Let’s get something straight.. when I’m referring to a ‘lamp’ I’m actually referring to the light bulb. When I’m referring to the ‘fitting’ I’m referring to the fitting e.g. a wall light, a pendant, a table lamp or a chandelier etc.

All of Fritz Fryer’s decorative fittings are dimmable as are most straight to mains retrofit (E27, B22) products. The problem arises with compatibility between the lamp you are using in the fitting and the dimmer switch /controls. This means that almost all lights can be dimmable if the specified lamp is defined as dimmable and is compatible with the dimmer switch/controls.

At Fritz Fryer we offer a wide selection of dimmable wall lights and dimmable ceiling lights , our handmade lighting collection paired with a dimmable lamp and the correct dimmer switch can be the perfect addition to achieving that flexibility within the room.

Dimmable wall lights and pendant lights in a KitchenCluster Lights

What are the advantages of dimmable lights?

I believe there are many. A dimmer system allows you to seamlessly adapt or enhance the atmosphere. Harsh, bright lighting on a relaxed evening can make a space feel less cosy; however, as soon as lighting is needed for practicality, brightness can become necessary. Therefore, an easily accessible dimming system will help to alleviate these problems.

In a kitchen, when cooking or cleaning, practical bright lighting is important but ,when it comes to entertaining guests or enjoying an evening meal, the kitchen lights should have the ability to be dimmed to enhance the atmosphere.

Why choose dimmable lighting?

Dimmable lighting is great as it will add a level of flexibility to an overall lighting scheme. For example dimmable recessed spotlights in a kitchen are a great example, giving you a wonderful low light to support your kitchen island pendants or 100% brightness for prepping and cleaning. We understand that rooms within a home may serve many functions, and lighting that can be adjusted will allow you to adapt the room to your needs.

Getting the right Dimmable lamp

The right lamp is an essential part to achieving a dimmable lighting system. Select a good quality LED lamp which states that it has dimmable capabilities. It is very important to check that the lamp you are selecting is compatible with the dimming system you are installing.

Don’t assume that your brand new dimmable LED lamp will work smoothly with your 20-year-old dimmer switch. You may need to replace the dimmer switch/controls too.

Find out more about LED lamps in our blog here

Dimmable LED light bulb Source: Well Lit

Key Considerations


1. Do you really need to dimmer switch?

In some cases clients are putting all their lighting circuits on dimmer switches. Most decorative LED lamps are not particularly bright and to be honest probably don’t need to be dimmed. Where as, a circuit of 6w recessed down lights should certainly be put on a dimmer switch. You are welcome to give us a call to discuss this.

2. Layer your lighting

Don’t be dependent on single source of light (e.g. one over head pendant). A balance should be found using a range of different fittings (e.g. Decorative pendants, wall lights, picture lights, recessed down lights, table and standing lamps in a 5amp circuit). Once you have defined these layers, carefully consider which ones need dimming, if any.

3. Dimmer switch specification

Check with your electrician that the lamps being used are indeed dimmable and that they are compatible with the specified dimmable controls being used. This can be troublesome as not all lamps will have been tested on all dimmer switches and controls. At Fritz Fryer we will recommend the best dimmable controls to use and also check if it’s one that we don’t recognise.

4. Dimmer switch programming

Simple contemporary dimmer switches are often programmable. By following a few simple steps it is possible to calibrate the dimmer switch with the lamps you are using. This is something your electrician should do at the end of second fix.

5. Don’t mix and match

Do not use different lamps on one dimmable circuit. The technology in the lamp will differ across brands and products within a brand resulting in the less than satisfactory dimming transition (e.g. limited dimming range, flickering, restricting maximum output or not working at all)

6. Old switches & controls

As I mentioned previously don’t expect your 20 year old dimmer switch to work with LED lamps.


Understanding dimmable lighting by Fritz FryerAlton Lighting Collection 

Dimmable lighting ideas

Aston Lantern
£1,395.00 Inc VAT
Grafton flush mount light is suitable as both a wall and ceiling fitting. Shown here in bronze
Grafton Flush Mount Light
£875.00£930.00 Inc VAT
Ribbed Glass
Wellington Pendant Light
£270.00£760.00 Inc VAT
pixley extra small staggered cluster
Pixley extra small staggered Cluster
£532.50£962.00 Inc VAT
Contemporary wall light in polished brass with skinny ribbed glass shade
Hereford Contemporary Wall Light
£215.00£260.00 Inc VAT
Ledbury swan neck wall light
Ledbury Swan Neck Wall Light
£230.00£325.00 Inc VAT
Pixley Industrial Wall Light
£177.50£190.00 Inc VAT

Need a little more help?

If you have any other questions about dimmable lighting, and how your Fritz Fryer light can be dimmable. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team.

Customer exploring handmade ribbed glass lighting in the Fritz Fryer Showroom in Herefordshire