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Old 26th Apr 2017, 09:23   #1
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LED Lightbulbs

I am having a bit of a problem at the minute with LED lightbulbs... In our front room we have two light fittings with 5 E14 bulbs in each. Over the years we have replaced endless incandescent / halogen bulbs and the last bulb that blew managed to take the dimmer switch with it. Needing a new dimmer as well as a fair number of new lightbulbs we decided on the spur of the moment, possibly stupidly, to try out some dimmable LED bulbs. First we bought some Diall ones from B&Q which, when used with a Varilight V-Com dimmer, made a fairly quiet but sufficiently annoying buzzing sound. I took those back and did some research online and then went for some bulbs from LEDhut and a Varilight V-Pro Trailing Edge dimmer switch. Installed these at the weekend and they buzz even louder than the first ones... I've emailed LEDhut's customer support and am waiting to hear back but I think I'm going to have to return these as well.

Anyway, wall of text over, on to questions:

1) Does anyone on here have experience of dimmable LED lightbulbs? Do yours buzz?

2) Do they all buzz? I was thinking of going for a better 'brand' such as these Philips ones but it would appear that they buzz too - the second most recent review posted on 21/04/17 says "however it also emits an annoying buzz when dimmed". 5 other reviews mention buzzing too.

3) Could it be the light fitting itself? I don't have the electrical know-how or confidence to try replacing it but it's the only thing that I've not changed.

Thanks in advance

GK
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 10:12   #2
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Hi,
I have a bunch of LED on the Varilight V-Pro dimmer. I had to change the mode as it was also buzzing/flickering initially. There is a little sound from the dimmer itself on very low levels, but I put that down to only having 3x4W LED's on it. Probably at the lower limit for the dimmer.
Have you tried changing the mode, I think I put it on mode 2. I also set the minimum dimming level at the same time.
https://www.varilight.co.uk/leaflets...ions%20776.pdf

Currently using cheap (4W daylight GU10) bulbs from Amazon, but they seem to have disappeared, the closest I can find is https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Light-Bul...+DIMMABLE+GU10


All the best
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 10:25   #3
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We use a dimmable LED bulb from B&Q in the living room. I can't remember off hand if it's the same make as yours. I remember looking at the Diall ones and another brand but can't remember what I went for in the end. Either way reviews online seem to suggest that it's common with the brand we went for. The buzzing is barely noticeable to begin with but increases (only by 1 or 2 db not earth shattering) that you can hear it in a fairly quiet room without needing to stand directly under it. Other than the buzzing the bulb has been working fine. The only other issue is that we mostly use the lowest dimmable setting as full brightness is too bright. It doesn't dim anywhere near the level I would like.

Our old light continually blew bulbs. It was an old fixture that angled 6 bulbs which supposedly reduces lifespan but even so we were blowing a bulb a month on average. To be safe we replaced not only the fixture but also the dimmer.

I remember reading that dimmer switches caused issues with energy saver bulbs. Some dimmers supposedly don't work with certain bulb types and information on products barely extends beyond this is a dimmer switch. There could be an issue if it's an old dimmer switch or light fixture. Both are fairly easily replaced.

If your uncertain an electrical supply wholesaler (the guys electricians go to for parts) are normally very useful to talk to. We have a couple of local ones (Shout out to farrelly and smyth duncrue Belfast) and just for the advice they have imparted over the years I've been more inclined to pay a tiny bit more (quite often cheaper than B&Q if your happy to sacrifice choice on products) just for the wee tips and background information they provide on products that more often than not, only people would discover a few years down the line after something has been installed.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 13:48   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlowdrummer View Post
Have you tried changing the mode, I think I put it on mode 2. I also set the minimum dimming level at the same time.
I have tried changing the mode yes but I will try that again later as that was basically the only suggestion that LEDhut was able to come up with...

Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman View Post
The buzzing is barely noticeable to begin with but increases (only by 1 or 2 db not earth shattering) that you can hear it in a fairly quiet room without needing to stand directly under it. Other than the buzzing the bulb has been working fine. The only other issue is that we mostly use the lowest dimmable setting as full brightness is too bright. It doesn't dim anywhere near the level I would like.

If your uncertain an electrical supply wholesaler (the guys electricians go to for parts) are normally very useful to talk to. We have a couple of local ones (Shout out to farrelly and smyth duncrue Belfast) and just for the advice they have imparted over the years I've been more inclined to pay a tiny bit more (quite often cheaper than B&Q if your happy to sacrifice choice on products) just for the wee tips and background information they provide on products that more often than not, only people would discover a few years down the line after something has been installed.
We have also found that the lowest dim is not as low as we would like. I think that the main issue is that each bulb make a fairly quiet buzz but there are 10 bulbs each buzzing a bit which adds up to quite a loud noise

An electrical wholesaler might be a good idea - otherwise I'm just taking a punt on another brand of bulbs which may or may not buzz and I'll have no idea if they will before they arrive.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 13:53   #5
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I've used Philips classic bulbs and the buzz was terrible, the Phillips warm glow I replaced them with are much butter and don't really buzz, but they do flicker when I turn the TV / AV amp on. (different fittings to the one you linked)

Also make sure you have a decent dimmer, as a lot of cheap dimmers won't dim LED well and some will buzz and some will have a minimum load (usually around 50W) so unless you have a lot of LED bulbs you may need a dummy load.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 14:13   #6
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Hi,
as Sp! said, there is a minimum load required. I had a previous Varliight V-Pro but it had a 100W lower threshold, the lights went mad - strobing like it was 2am in a club.
I had to buy the same dimmer, but one that had a much lower limit on load. The one I have is 10W, which with 3x4W bulbs, this is still borderline IMO.
Hope you get it sorted soon.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 14:23   #7
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I've used Philips and some other make (from Asda) and both have buzzed to unacceptable levels on our dimmer (unknown type as it's a rented house and was in place already). My living room fittings are 2 x 3 lamp types. We also have wooden floors and not much soft furnishing in the room which may make it seem worse.

My solution so far has been to reduce the lamps to 2 in each fitting, and since they are usually dimmed anyway it seems to be more acceptable - none have gone pop yet, and there's enough light for 99% of the time.

I may take the dimmer off to see what type it is if one of the lamps go.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 14:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK View Post
1) Does anyone on here have experience of dimmable LED lightbulbs? Do yours buzz?
I have a 6 dimmable Integral E27 golf balls on the same Varilight V-Pro trailing edge dimmer and there's no hint of buzz.

I also have a couple of Osram Lightify E14 bulbs and there is a faint buzz the lower they are. They're in bedside lamps, though, so any iota of buzz would be detectable. They're also attached to the Hue bridge, as opposed to the lightify one, but can't see how this would have anything to do with it.

I have 22 Philips Hues of various varieties (4x white E27, 2x Ambiance E27, 2x Colour E27, 12x Colour GU10 and 2x franken-Lighstrip), and never heard a buzz from any of them

YMMV.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 14:59   #9
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I use Philips Master 5.3w GU10s with a dimmer on my landing and in my kitchen. No buzz at all.

I've also used a Philips hue regular bulb with the hue dimmer, and that didn't buzz either (although it stopped working within 10 months).
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 21:59   #10
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As someone who works in the lighting industry there is a thing called compatibility.

Every LED Bulb will have its own little power supply in it to rectify and convert the mains into something you can drive the LED's. Each bulb will have its own requirements, and what it likes from a dimmer.

As most people aren't willing to run another set of cables up to their light fixture, they use something called mains dimming. This alters the AC waveform from the mains into something which is sensed by the dimming circuit inside of the fixture.

This comes in two flavours.

Leading edge (At the start of the sine wave)
or
Trailing edge (at the end of the sine wave).

What you need to look for is a compatibility table of what manufacturers fixtures have been tested with that dimmer. Do not skimp out on lighting, we have all bought 1 light bulbs but frankly they are shite.

By and large LED dimmable (DO NOT TRY AND MAINS DIM LIGHTS YOU CAN CONTROL FROM A HUB OR YOU WILL DAMAGE THEM, I.E HUE, Lightify, STACK, Hive etc..) bulbs/lamps or fixtures prefer trailing edge. I can go into more detail but its more a rule of thumb unless you like an expensive retrofit fixture for the likes of crestron control systems.

Go and speak to a wholesaler and they should be able to guide you as to what works with what.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 06:14   #11
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I have a few IKEA dimmable 7W bulbs in IKEA dimmable lamps and they buzz and don't last long.
It's probably the dimmer in these lamps that's just not suitable to LED's.

The non-dimmable IKEA lamps have a lovely lighttemperature and last great
(well, so far anyway, ~15 bulbs that are run daily for a bit over two years now)

Where I have LED-strip lightning (on 12V) dimming is the easiest thing in the world, any simple 1$ Chinesium dimmer will do.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 09:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad View Post
I have a 6 dimmable Integral E27 golf balls on the same Varilight V-Pro trailing edge dimmer and there's no hint of buzz.

I also have a couple of Osram Lightify E14 bulbs and there is a faint buzz the lower they are. They're in bedside lamps, though, so any iota of buzz would be detectable. They're also attached to the Hue bridge, as opposed to the lightify one, but can't see how this would have anything to do with it.

I have 22 Philips Hues of various varieties (4x white E27, 2x Ambiance E27, 2x Colour E27, 12x Colour GU10 and 2x franken-Lighstrip), and never heard a buzz from any of them

YMMV.
With you on the Philips no buzz apart from the odd cry from my wallet, other then they are as quiet as a mouse.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 10:24   #13
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you shouldn't get a buzz with Hue as the dimming is done by the chip in the bulb (hence the expense) the buzzing comes from trying to dim LEDs from a traditional style dimmer switch (especially if your dimmer switch was designed to dim traditional incandescent bulbs)
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 22:12   #14
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Incorrect, its just incompatible.

Compatible mains dimmers and bulbs will not buzz. I mains dim the candles led bulbs I have. Its just either the drive stage of the bulb or the dimmer not working as intended with the bulbs you put in. There are ways around it with dummy loads and whatnot but its easier to just change the dimmer to one which as been tested.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 23:31   #15
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Dimming DC leds using a traditional AC dimmer switch is always going to be a bit of a bodge (technically speaking ). Some bulbs/dimmers may do a better job than others, but some sort of remote system would probably be a safer bet.
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Old 5th May 2017, 10:12   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad View Post
I have a 6 dimmable Integral E27 golf balls on the same Varilight V-Pro trailing edge dimmer and there's no hint of buzz.

I also have a couple of Osram Lightify E14 bulbs and there is a faint buzz the lower they are. They're in bedside lamps, though, so any iota of buzz would be detectable. They're also attached to the Hue bridge, as opposed to the lightify one, but can't see how this would have anything to do with it.

I have 22 Philips Hues of various varieties (4x white E27, 2x Ambiance E27, 2x Colour E27, 12x Colour GU10 and 2x franken-Lighstrip), and never heard a buzz from any of them

YMMV.
Interesting - I might give the Integral bulbs a try next as I've decided after trying to live with the buzzing that I just can't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred View Post
As someone who works in the lighting industry there is a thing called compatibility.

Every LED Bulb will have its own little power supply in it to rectify and convert the mains into something you can drive the LED's. Each bulb will have its own requirements, and what it likes from a dimmer.

As most people aren't willing to run another set of cables up to their light fixture, they use something called mains dimming. This alters the AC waveform from the mains into something which is sensed by the dimming circuit inside of the fixture.

This comes in two flavours.

Leading edge (At the start of the sine wave)
or
Trailing edge (at the end of the sine wave).

What you need to look for is a compatibility table of what manufacturers fixtures have been tested with that dimmer. Do not skimp out on lighting, we have all bought 1 light bulbs but frankly they are shite.

By and large LED dimmable (DO NOT TRY AND MAINS DIM LIGHTS YOU CAN CONTROL FROM A HUB OR YOU WILL DAMAGE THEM, I.E HUE, Lightify, STACK, Hive etc..) bulbs/lamps or fixtures prefer trailing edge. I can go into more detail but its more a rule of thumb unless you like an expensive retrofit fixture for the likes of crestron control systems.

Go and speak to a wholesaler and they should be able to guide you as to what works with what.
I think I will try the integral ones recommended above and then if not take a trip to a local wholesaler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred View Post
Incorrect, its just incompatible.

Compatible mains dimmers and bulbs will not buzz. I mains dim the candles led bulbs I have. Its just either the drive stage of the bulb or the dimmer not working as intended with the bulbs you put in. There are ways around it with dummy loads and whatnot but its easier to just change the dimmer to one which as been tested.
Unfortunately the dimmer I have is a trailing edge dimmer and in fact is the one recommended by LEDHut The only thing I can think of is that the bulbs themselves are cheap LED bulbs and the circuitry within them is just cheap rubbish.
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Old 5th May 2017, 13:56   #17
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http://www.belllighting.co.uk/lamps/...erModule/09592

you need one of these buddy. Bell have tested these module on a lot of leds out there and touch wood every one that I have sold has fixed the issue

pm me and I will get one sent to you to try
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Old 5th May 2017, 13:57   #18
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oh and don't buy integral. cheap **** that will not last.
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Old 5th May 2017, 15:33   #19
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I guess I managed to luck out with the 6 I've been using for years.
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Old 5th May 2017, 18:32   #20
jizwizard
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jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.jizwizard is definitely a rep cheat.
As a wholesaler obviously we would see more come through the doors faulty. Touch wood the only ones that have never failed not even one is the ones from bell lighting. But it doesn't surprise me as they are the only company in the U.K. To have there own testing lab in the U.K. So batches are tested for 6 months before being released. All their dimmable fittings are tested on most makes of dimmers so you can use them without dedicated led dimmer modules.

No I'm not a rep of bell lighting but I will stand by their products having spent a lot of time in their facilities in the U.K. Which no other lighting manufacturer can come close to when it comes to testing.
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