Choosing the best dimmable LED panels

When deciding on a lighting solution for either a commercial or residential property, there are endless options available. When it comes to choosing LED lighting and an LED panel light in particular, being aware of the options, the benefits and everything in between before making a definitive decision will help you to choose the right lighting solution for your application.

In this guide we will focus on dimmable LED panels, looking at the numerous options available as well as how these panels work.

How dimmable LED panels work

Dimmable lights have been available for decades but, while the dimming of incandescent bulbs is a relatively simple process, LED dimming is slightly more complicated.

The key element to be aware of with dimmable LED panels is that the driver itself must be compatible with the dimming process. This driver may be included with the panel or it may need to be purchased separately.

It’s also important to consider the dimming options available.

TRIAC dimmer

TRIAC dimmers are designed predominantly to be used with AC power control units. They are a popular option because they have the capacity to switch high voltages and can also alternate between relatively high levels of current that are routinely found within the two individual sections of an AC waveform. It is also important to note that they are similar to diodes in that they are semiconductors.

They are, most often, used domestically and that’s because they’re capable of working effectively across a number of applications.

DSI driver

DSI (Digital Series Interface) is a digital type of dimming. As a result, it is often regarded as being more controllable, meaning that dimming can be achieved through programming and can be aligned with the time of year or day.

0-10v driver

This type of dimming driver is regarded as an ‘analog control protocol’ and means that, with dimming, the amount of power going to the LED panel will be between 0 and 10 volts.

DALI driver

DALI dimmable driver switches utilise a digital protocol which directs a ‘dimming control signal’ to a driver via individual wires that link up with the mains. It should be noted that they do not have any direct control with regards to the actual energy that is given to the driver.

The benefits of a dimmable LED panel

Dimmable LED panels provide a huge range of benefits for both homes and commercial environments.

Flexibility in the use of a space

Dimmable LED panels offer a huge spectrum of brightness so can completely change the feel and look of a room depending on whether or not they have been dimmed. For example, you could transform an office space from a brightly lit space for focusing on work or reading, into a more dimly lit room for presentations or events.

This flexibility also offers huge benefits in the home in areas such as the kitchen where you might need bright lighting for cooking but prefer more ambient lighting while you’re eating or entertaining.

Energy saving

One of the biggest benefits of dimmable LED panels is that they can massively reduce energy consumption. Research carried out by ERP has found that dimmable LED panels, on average, reduce power usage by around 80%.

LED panels provide the same brightness as other lighting solutions, using much less wattage which makes them more efficient. LED panels are low watt so will help to save on energy costs overall.

In terms of how they utilise power, they are far more efficient than traditional lighting methods (with particular reference to incandescent bulbs), meaning that it requires far less power to generate the same degree of light.

Dimmable LED panels also generate much less heat than other lighting solutions so much less energy is wasted while they are running.

Longer lasting

Not only are dimmable LED panels far more environmentally friendly, they also last much longer than traditional lighting solutions. Dimmable LED panels will not need to be replaced frequently, which will help to save on costs and time.

Comfortable lighting

LED panel technology is designed to be easier on your eyes than other lighting solutions. Dimmable lighting allows you to adjust the lighting to your needs, the time of day and your activities. These lights are easier on your eyes and will help to reduce eye strain and help you to feel more productive or relaxed, depending on what you’re doing.

Where are dimmable LED panels used most often?

Dimmable LED panels can be used in a wide range of environments for a number of purposes.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting, which is used to focus light on a very specific element of a room, to highlight a piece of art, for example, is perfect for dimmable LEDs. They can also be used on the top of kitchen fittings to create a hidden lighting effect.

Decorative lighting

Alongside offering bright or ambient lighting, dimmable LED panels are also the perfect option for highlighting decorative items within your home such as artwork or sculptures. They can be set at different levels of brightness to the rest of the room to draw attention to other objects within the room.

Bedroom and living room

One of the biggest benefits associated with dimmable LEDs is that they can create ambience quickly and easily, without having to choose between the lighting being either on or off.

This makes them perfect for the bedroom and living room where you may want to create a softer mood in the evenings before bed but need functional lighting as well.

The colour temperature you choose will also have a huge impact on the mood you create in the room. Softer colour temperatures such as warm white (3000k) provide a warm, comforting light whereas a colour temperature such as daylight (6000k) will provide light closer to natural daylight. These colour temperatures may be better suited for panel lights used as ceiling lights.

In the office

These same benefits can also be useful in office areas, especially as a means of reducing eye fatigue amongst employees. Research has found that employees are liable to be far more productive if they can work in lighting that is not overbearing or overpowering.

Increases productivity by providing individual control to reduce eye strain and fatigue or to improve concentration.

For office spaces with grid ceilings, LED panels offer the perfect replacement for older fluorescent tubes and dimming options help to keep everyone in the office productive and mean that the space can be used for a variety of purposes. LED panel lights can also be surface mounted for a most stylish and modern look.

Top picks: Our best-selling dimmable LED panels


Product Price Size Lumens Colour Temp Warranty
Emergency Dimmable 40w LED panel £53.29 600mmx600mm 3600lm 6000k 3 years Buy Now
Dimmable Bright Source 40w LED panel £53.29 600mmx600mm 3600lm 4000k 3 years Buy Now
Dimmable Bright Source 72w LED panel £110 1200mmx600mm 6600lm 3000k, 4000k, 6000k ? Buy Now
Dimmable 20w Round LED panel 42w PL replacement £47.96 238mm 1400lm 4000k, 6000k 3 years Buy Now
Dimmable Round LED panel Twin 18w PL replacement £45.56 225mm 1260lm 4000k, 6000k 3 years Buy Now
LED panel – TRIAC dimmable £104.96 600mm x 600mm 3600lm 3000k, 4000k, 6000k 3 years Buy Now

Our experts are always on-hand to chat about your specific needs and provide recommendations on which LED panel is right for you. We have a variety of LED panels in a range of options, with a broad variety of features so, if you need advice on finding the correct LED panel size for your needs, get in touch with us today.

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