If you’re wondering why a sleep site would care about dimmer switches, let us explain: the lighting in your home (and especially your bedroom) has a direct impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep. The simplest explanation for this complex biological process is that evening exposure to bright lights can interfere with your circadian rhythms, while dimming the lights in the evening can increase your chances of drifting off to dreamland.
For this reason, we think it’s a good idea for everyone to be able to control the brightness of their lighting. So we’ve put together this roundup of best dimmer switches to help you do just that! No matter your preferred style of light switch, we’ve included a variety of options to suit all tastes and facilitate a more relaxing bedroom environment.
Lutron Diva C.L. Dimmer Switch
- The switch is compatible with incandescent, halogen, and LED bulbs. (The manufacturer says it performs best with LEDs.) It can control multiple types and up to 17 bulbs at once.
- The large rocker switch makes it easy to turn lights off and on, while the slider is small enough that it’s unlikely to be bumped in a way that would unexpectedly adjust the brightness.
- Installation is pretty easy.
- The switch comes with a coordinating wall plate that features 25 color options.
One con? The wall plates are branded with the company name, which might detract from the aesthetic.
The Lutron Diva C.L. Dimmer Switch is compatible with halogen, incandescent, and LED bulbs. The large rocker switch makes it easy to turn lights off and on, and the wall plate comes in 25 color options.
ENERLITES Low Voltage Slide Dimmer Switch
- The low-voltage dimmer should be compatible with LED and fluorescent lights.
- The large rocker switch makes it easy to turn lights off and on, while the sliding dimmer switch is small enough that it won’t get bumped easily.
- The dimmer switch and the rocker work independently, so when lights are turned on they’ll retain the brightness level they were at prior to being turned off.
- The adjustment wheel on the left side of the plate lets you customize the dimming range.
- Installation could be a bit of a hassle.
- This is a bit pricier than a lot of standard dimmer switches.
The ENERLITES Low Voltage Slide Dimmer Switch features a large on/off rocker switch, a discrete sliding dimmer switch, and an adjustment wheel that lets you control the dimming range. It’s compatible with both LED and fluorescent lights.
Lutron Toggler C.L. Dimmer Switch
- The dimmer switch works with all halogen and incandescent bulbs as well as dimmable LED bulbs (though the manufacturer says the dimmer performs best with LEDs).
- It can be used either for a single-pole or 3-way setting and can control up to 17 bulbs at once.
- When lights are turned back on, they’ll remain at the brightness level they were at when turned off.
- The back cover is only one-inch deep, so it’s fairly easy to install. The only tool that should be needed for installation is a screwdriver.
- The wall plate is sold separately, which ups the cost a bit. (Or you might be able to repurpose an existing wall plate.)
- The switch and slider don’t seem to be particularly durable, so use caution during installation.
The Lutron Toggler C.L. Dimmer Switch is easy to install and works with halogen, incandescent, and dimmable LED bulbs. The switch retains your chosen brightness from one usage to the next and can control up to 17 bulbs at once.
Treatlife Smart Dimmer Switch
- The smart dimmer switch is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. The switch can be controlled from anywhere, and you can adjust the brightness even when the lights are off.
- It works with incandescent and/or dimmable LED or CFL bulbs.
- The switch features a “brightness memory function” that lets you turn lights back on at the same brightness as when they were turned off.
- This is a budget-friendly smart dimmer switch.
- A neutral wire is required for installation, which can make installation a bit more complicated than some of the other options here.
- The switch might start to become less responsive to manual control over time.
Those who are into the “smart home” trend might consider the Treatlife Smart Dimmer Switch, which is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. The budget-friendly smart dimmer switch features a “brightness memory function” and works with incandescent and dimmable LED or CFL bulbs.
Maxxima Dimmer Electrical Switch
- This is a very budget-friendly dimmer switch. The wall plate and mounting screws are included, which makes it even more of a bargain.
- The dimmer switch is compatible with halogen, incandescent, and LED bulbs.
- The large dimmer switch makes it easy to adjust the brightness.
- Installation is fairly easy.
- This is a value product, and it doesn’t seem like it will be the most long-lasting or reliable.
- The dimmer and the on/off switch don’t always work independently. There may be times when you need to slide the dimmer back up to “high” in order to turn the lights back on, which can be jarring.
The budget-friendly Maxxima Dimmer Electrical Switch comes with a wall plate and mounting screws for easy installation. The no-frills switch is compatible with halogen, incandescent, and LED bulbs.
How We Picked
There are a ton of dimmer switches out there, so we used several criteria to narrow down our search. Here’s an overview of the factors we took into account while selecting our picks for best dimmer switches.
Not all dimmer switches are compatible with all types of bulbs. Some work best with dimmable LEDs, some are suitable for fluorescent bulbs, and many work with halogen or incandescent bulbs. We included switches that are compatible with a variety of different bulb types so you can find what works for you.
Because everyone has personal preferences about the style or function they want from a dimmer switch, we included switches in a variety of designs and with a variety of functionalities. For instance, some switches here feature rocker on/off switches and small dimmer sliders, while others feature large sliders and smaller on/off switches. Some include an extra option for controlling the brightness range, while others don’t. And so on. No matter your preferences, there should be a design to suit your needs.
For the most part, we prioritized options that are easy to install. This way, you’ll face fewer hurdles on your way toward a more sleep-friendly bedroom environment. The lone smart switch on this list might take a little more time to install, but in general these switches are fairly straightforward and user-friendly when it comes to their installation.
Sleepopolis Buying Tips
Trying to settle on the best dimmer switch for your needs? Think about the following:
- Smart or not? Deciding whether or not you want a “smart” switch is a quick way to limit your search.
- Bulb type. Whatever dimmer switch you buy will need to be compatible with the bulbs you’re trying to dim, so identify what kind of bulb(s) you have and limit the search to switches that are compatible with those bulbs.
- Switch design. Do you like a small dimmer switch and a large on/off switch, or vice versa? Do you have other preferences when it comes to the look and function of a switch? These questions should help you make your final decisions.
A functional dimmer switch gives you more control over the brightness in your bedroom and living spaces. When you make a habit of dimming the lights each evening, this can directly correlate to better sleep. So even if it’s not the most exciting home improvement, it’s worth taking the time to invest in dimmer switches!
Can you put any light on a dimmer switch?
It depends. Once you know which light you want to put on a dimmer switch, you’ll need to look for a dimmer switch that’s compatible with the bulb type in that light. Different dimmer switches are compatible with everything from halogen, incandescent, CFL, and LED bulbs, but not all switches will be compatible with all of these bulb types.
Do you have to use a special dimmer switch for LED lights?
As with any type of lightbulb, you’ll need to look for a dimmer switch that’s compatible with LEDs. The good news is that as LEDs have become more popular, more and more LED-compatible dimmer switches exist. Just make sure the switch in question specifies that it works with LEDs. You might also need to invest in dimmable LED bulbs for them to work with a dimmer switch.
Do dimmers save electricity?
Yes! Reducing the amount of light that’s emitted from various bulbs also reduces the amount of electricity required to light those bulbs. So not only does dimming the lights make a more sleep-friendly environment, it can also save electricity.