Regular readers have seen me rave about the CREE CR6 LED light. (And if you haven’t—now’s the time to read more!) I’ve had good success using standard dimmers, with the Lutron Diva working well. However, Lutron has a new series of “C-L Dimmers” designed specifically for dimmable CFL and LED. I’ve tried the Diva C-L, the Skylark C-L, and the Lumea C-L. I like them. And this line of dimmers does help alleviate some of the dimming problems one encounters with most so-called dimmable CFLs and LEDs.
While CFLs have been around for a long time, they haven’t worked well with standard dimmers. Frankly, I’m LESS than impressed with CFL that are claimed to be dimmable. I found a too-small dimmable range, flicker, and shorter than expected life from the dimmable CFLs that I’ve tried. And LEDs, I’m not ready to recommend most (the CREE and the HALO are two stand-out exceptions).
But what if you’ve just invested in the lower quality—but still dimmable—options? You may be experiencing some of the frequent problems with these bulbs using standard dimmers. Things like the reduced dimming range I mentioned, sudden drop out as you dim the bulbs low without intending to shut them off, lights not coming on when the switch is in a dimmed position, or annoying flicker.
The Lutron C-L dimmers do a good job reducing these problems and the list is opposite the problems cited above. Lights stay on as they’re dimmed. Lights turn on regardless of whether they when dimmed when shut off or not. Flicker is reduced. Lutron handles this with some black box electronic that I’m not privy to—and with an adjustment dial that helps tailor the dimmer to the performance your bulbs can handle. These dimmers don’t make inferior bulbs better. But they do improve the experience of using the bulbs.
[And they're great with those CREE CR6s!]