Best Light Bulbs for Dimmers – Complete Guide

Yes, you need a dimmable bulb. But there are some exceptions.
If you don’t use a dimmable bulb, you’ll get problems like buzzing noise, the bulb doesn’t dim down enough, flickering which is very annoying and the bulb can burn out.

Led bulbs:

Our top pick for LED dimmable bulbs is the AmazonBasics Commercial Grade LED Light Bulb. We have tested these bulbs in various rooms, and they consistently provide a clean, energy-efficient light that dims smoothly without flickering. Compared to other LED bulbs on the market, the AmazonBasics Commercial Grade LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and better compatibility with a wide range of dimmer switches, making them a worthwhile investment for those who frequently use their lights throughout the day.

It must be dimmable. Don’t get the non-dimmable or you will get flickering and buzzing problems.
You should get commercial-grade bulbs because of the increased lifespan compared to the regular grade. You should spend the extra money on the commercial grade if you tend to leave the lights on all day.

This dimmable A19 LED bulb is a top choice.

These LED A19 bulbs are designed as a direct replacement for your old incandescent light bulbs while consuming less power. These LED light bulbs use up to 90 percent less energy than their incandescent equivalents while producing the same lumen output.

The A19 size means that they fit in standard light bulb sockets. The profile is a little bit smaller than in the old incandescent bulbs, which means they fit into most standard light fixtures. They come wrapped so that you can install it without touching the actual bulb.

Amazon Basics Commercial Grade LED Light Bulb | 40, 60, 75 and 100-Watt Equivalent, A19 or A21, Soft White and Day White


These are also available in PAR38:

AmazonBasics Commercial Grade LED Light Bulb | 90 or 120-Watt Equivalent, PAR38, Cool White or Soft White, Dimmable, 6-Pack


You get way less power consumption than a traditional floodlight and just as bright. The light is a soft white, they give a spotlight effect in a ceiling or a flood light effect if used to an angled outdoor light. I’ve used them in motion detector floodlights.
Super easy to screw in, lightweight, sturdy, nothing to complain about.


But what about other bulb types which are the best dimmable?

While incandescent bulbs are generally compatible with any dimmer switch, their energy consumption and shorter lifespan make them less efficient compared to LED bulbs. However, they do provide a warm, inviting light that some users may prefer. If you’re looking for the best dimmable incandescent bulb, we recommend the GE Lighting 13257 40-Watt A19 Soft White. We’ve found that these bulbs offer reliable performance with dimmer switches and a pleasant light quality that enhances the ambiance of any room.

Best Dimmable Incandescents Bulbs:

Will work with any dimmer switch. This is because incandescent light bulbs will only burn out if you go over their maximum voltage, not if you stay under it.
In fact, running an incandescent light bulb at a lower voltage can even increase its lifespan.
Moving on to fluorescent bulbs, they can be a bit more complicated when it comes to dimming. However, some users may still prefer them due to their energy efficiency and unique light quality. Our top pick for the best dimmable fluorescent bulb is the GE Lighting 89623 Energy Smart Spiral CFL 15-Watt. We’ve tested these bulbs and found that they work well with compatible dimmer switches, offering a smooth dimming performance without any noticeable humming noise. Keep in mind that you’ll need a compatible dimmer switch and a bulb with a dimmable ballast for the best results.

Best Dimmable Fluorescents Bulbs:

Are way more complicated. If you run a lower voltage current through a fluorescent bulb that isn’t manufactured for dimming, your bulb will start to hum and then turn off, without ever dimming.
This bulb is good for ceiling fixtures. It can, of course, be used in other places too. I’ve used this bulb in ceiling fixtures and this bulb really lights up the whole room. The light is not greenish or bluish like some other fluorescents. The dimming feature works, but not as smoothly as in LEDs or incandescents but it does the job.

To dim fluorescent lights, you need two things:

First, you need a bulb with what is called a “dimmable ballast”.
It is going to say on the package if it has one.
And second, you need a dimmer that is compatible with your bulb. The main problem is that standard dimmers are not perfectly compatible with all dimmable fluorescents, even if the fluorescent says so on the package.
Instead, you are way better off getting a dimmer specially made for fluorescent lights or CFLs. These dimmer switches will say they are specially designed for fluorescent lights.

Leviton CFL Dimmer

If you’d like your LED to be dimmable, you need to do one of two things: find LED bulbs compatible with traditional dimmers, or replace your current dimming switch with a leading-edge(LED-compatible) dimmer.