How To Dim Lights Without A Dimmer

How To Dim Lights Without A Dimmer? (Fast and Easy Guide)

Dimming lights without a dimmer is possible. It’s easy, fast, and very affordable.

You basically got three options if you want to dim your light bulbs without a dimmer.

Dimming lights bulbs without dimmer options:

  • Scene switch bulbs
  • Smart bulbs
  • DIY project (which I don’t recommend)


BrandTypeCheck PriceRating 1-5
Philips LED 60 Watt Equivalent SceneSwitch

Soft White, Warm Glow, A19 LED Light Bulb, 4-Pack, Color Change $4.3
Smart Light Bulb
2800k-6200k, WiFi Multicolor, Compatible with Phone, Google Home, Google Assistant and Alexa $4.3

DIY - I don't recommend this option. Electric shock hazard


1. One option is Sceneswitch bulbs which I do recommend. These light bulbs work with your existing light switch on the wall and on regular lamp fixtures.

SceneChange bulbs have a built-in dim-chip, and when you toggle your light switch, it changes the light brightness.

You just simply replace your current bulb with the SceneChange bulb, then you can just toggle your existing light switch on the wall or on a lamp to change the light setting. You can simply adjust the light from cool white to warm white to a warm glow with different brightness.

If you want full-range dimming, from dark to full brightness, then you should look at the smart bulbs instead. The sceneswitch bulbs do not have full range dimming capabilities.

For full review check below.

2. Smart bulbs are great for dimming without a dimmer they are a little bit expensive but, if you don’t mind the higher price it can be a great choice.

3. DIY project is something I don’t recommend. Yes, you can build a dimmable bulb with a diode, but it can be very dangerous because of the electric shock risk.

DIY dimmer switch
DIY dimmer switch I don’t recommend this option

Philips SceneSwitch LED Bulb (dim without a dimmer switch) Review


You can get the Philips sceneswitch bulb in a 60 watt equivalent version, it`s also available in 100W and in a 65W reflector lamp version.

Any light fixture can be dimmable

The Philips scene switch LEDs don’t work with traditional dimmer switches, but they also don’t need traditional dimmer switches.

You got three brightness options with the sceneswitch bulb and you don’t need a dimmer

They’ll work with any old lamp or regular light switch.

The bulb reminds a lot of old-fashioned three-way light bulbs that had three different brightness levels, but instead of brightness levels, this bulb has three different color temperatures or shades of white light.

Different activities require different light settings

You can change brightness settings just by turning the bulb off and back on. They’re a bit like common three-way bulbs except you don’t need a 3-way compatible lamp in order to use them.
Color temperature for dimming without a dimmer
Color temperature for dimming without a dimmer


Color temperatures for your home

Now if you’re not familiar with what color temperature means, let me just review for you real quick.

This Philips bulb is the sceneswitch bulb at 2700 K

dimmer switch built in bulb
Soft white 2700K – dimmer switch built-in bulb

Color settings without a dimmer

Kelvin is the scale, from blue on the cooler side and higher numbers to warm on the lower side with lower numbers.

Kelvin is just the degree number that everything is measured in for color temperatures.

The above light bulb setting is a soft white, which is what we’ve been used to with incandescent lighting for the longest time.

This bulb will also switch to daylight white, which definitely has a much more blue look to it. And that’s again on the higher side
of the Kelvin scale, kind of what you would expect to see at like noon in broad daylight outside.

Sceneswitch bulb at 5000K

5000K sceneswitch setting
Daylight 5000K sceneswitch setting

You can definitely see the bluish light if you compare to the former one, which is the warmer soft white kind of more yellowish light.

You can make the light bulb less bright – Night light mode

This also has one more setting, the third setting is 2200 Kelvin and it also dims the light down to about 15% brightness.

Sceneswitch bulb at 2200K

2200K candle light setting scene switch option
2200K candlelight setting scene switch option

So the different light options you have with this bulb are:

  • Soft white
  • Daylight white(more bluish)
  • Cozy warm glow

You don`t need to use any apps, controllers, or home automation it’s all built into the bulb for under 10 dollars which is great because you don’t have to buy multiple bulbs to get different types of the color temperature of your light.

And you don’t have to buy dimmers, you don’t have to do any of that if you want something simple this bulb may be the bulb for you.

Now let`s dim it down and take the shade off so you can see what the bulb looks like.

sceneswitch bulb
Sceneswitch bulb

It looks like a standard LED bulb and it’s pretty much exactly what their other bulbs by Philips look like.

I’ve got another one here this is one of their hue bulbs that is just a white bulb and very similar in design and shape.

philips hue looks like this
Philips hue looks like this

Heat testing the bulb

This review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t do some testing for the heat temperature of the bulb.

So we’ll look at the bulb shell itself which is about 105 degrees and it’s been running for a while so that’s not too bad.

The heat sink itself is on the bottom which is metal of course gets much warmer about 130 degrees.

How to dim a lamp

The first light option that you get when flipping the switch on is a yellow soft light, flipping the switch again gives you daylight more bluish light and when you hit the switch again you get a warm glow light. Settings are comparable to a 60-watt bulb, a 40-watt bulb and a nightlight bulb.

Energy saver

It’s an energy-efficient bulb at 9.5 watts, 8 watts, and 3 watts. Respectively for the different soft white, daylight white, and super cozy warm glow mode.

Lifetime of sceneswitch bulb and warranty

These are not specifically designed to last as long as other regular LED bulbs. Normal led bulbs without scene selection will last you 20 to 25 years.

This sceneswitch LED bulbs is supposed to last about 13.7 years probably just due to the change in technology that they’re generating these different colors of light.

Philips has a standard 5-year warranty on the bulb that you can double to ten years. You just simply register the bulb online within 60 days of purchase at their website and you’ll get 10 years of warranty out of it.

The companies are usually pretty good about replacing the bulbs if they go out within the warranty period, so I think that’s a smart move to register to get the 10 years warranty.

Brightness confirmed

All three of them nailed my lighting tests. At the brightest setting, each one exceeds the stated 800 lumens, so they offer plenty of light.

These bulbs deliver 800 lumens or 60-watt equivalent light output at the soft white and daylight white.

And then about 80 lumens and 3 watts when you want to create a kind of a cozy warm glow.

Smart features

A really good feature is that once you turn it off and you wait at least five seconds ,and you turn it back on it will resume its last setting.

So you don’t have to worry about flipping it on and off a bunch of times the next time you turn it back on so it has some smart features built into it as well but not for the smart bulb price.

Sum Up

If you’re looking for something simple not like the advanced home automation stuff with Philips hue and all the more expensive color-changing, this may be something for you in terms of if you don’t want to deal with dimmers, don’t want to install special stuff and just have on/off functionality.

If you use one to replace a 60-watt incandescent it’ll pay for itself in energy savings in just over a year, then continue saving you money for years to come.

These are outstanding bulbs and an absolute no-brainer if you want to dim the lights down low, but you don’t want to rewire your switches or spend money on costly smart bulbs.
Standard non-dimmable LEDs can be had for a few dollars less and if you don’t care about the sceneswitch feature then they’re probably the better buy.
But I think the sceneswitch bulbs are worth it and deserving winners if you want to easily dim your lights without a dimmer.