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Thread: Matching Light Color Between Incandescent and LED

  1. #1
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    Matching Light Color Between Incandescent and LED

    I wasn't sure in which forum to post this question. Feel free to move it. My home has ~70 dimmers. I've switched the overwhelming majority to LEDs, and just about everything that includes at least 2 recessed lights uses LEDS. However, the dimmers that only control a single recessed light can have issues with a low minimum load, if I try to use LEDs. A much more simple alternative would be to keep using incandescents on these single recessed light dimmers. The problem is that when dimmed the incandescent color temperature gets lower (more orange), and my usual light level involves the lights well dimmed. This results in a mix of yellow color on the LED recessed lights, and orange on the incandescent recessed light a few feet away. My first thought was to get some incandescents with a higher color temperature, so when I dim them to my usual level, they'll have a more similar color to LEDs. Unfortunately, higher color temperature recessed incandescents seem to be almost non-existent. Literally everything I saw online was under 3000K. Another option would be to get lower load incandescents, such as 25-30W instead of 65W, so they do not need to be dimmed at my usual light level and have less of a color change. I saw quite a few 45W options at reasonable price, but little below 45W. This will certainly help, but I dim less than 45/65 = 69%, so I expect I'll certainly see a color difference. Adding an artificial load or combining multiple nearby recessed lighting in to the same dimmer could be a more ideal solution, but I'm not sure if I can do this myself. I don't want to hire an electrician. Does anyone have other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Delete this post

  3. #3
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    Which dimmers are you using? You should be able to replace just the single-fixture dimmers with ones that can control LEDs more effectively.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

  4. #4
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    In my living room I have a mix of BR30 downlights and some low voltage MR16 accent lights. Using standard bulbs produced a good color balance between the BR30’s and MR16’s when dimmed. Since I’m a fan of warm dimming fixtures, I replaced the incandescent BR30’s with Phillips Warm Dim LEDs and left the MR16 halogen bulbs since I couldn’t find any LED MR16 that dimmed well or had a similar color temperature when dimmed. For me, using the Phillips Warm Dim LEDs with the halogen MR16 produces an acceptable color balance at all light levels. I’ve been able to dim a single Phillips BR30 LED using an RRD-6NA. I haven’t tried it, but I assume an RRD-PRO would work. If you don’t have a neutral in the box you may have issues with a single LED.The only problem I had is that some Phillips Warm Dim bulbs apparently do not comply with California’s Title 24 regulations. I had to make a trip to a Reno big box store to get what I needed. If you don’t live in California, you shouldn’t have that issue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Will add that SORAA have come out with warm dim MR16s in recent months- they are great.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

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