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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m running canless recessed lighting in my basement, I am using Commercial Electric 3 in LED kits and Leviton Sure Slide Decora LED compatible three way dimmer switches. I have two series of four lights on two pairs of three way switches, and one on a three way for the steps. Also on the same circuit (15 amp) is an exit stairway light on a single pole that works fine, and there will be four more lights on this circuit when the project is complete.
My problem is flickering lights. The Commercial Electric kits claim to be dimmable from 100-10%. When I first completed the circuit the lights didn’t flicker, they were full on strobe effect and mostly off.
After further research I found the the Leviton switches were compatible with five MR16 bulbs. The kits used Globe bulbs and they were not on the list. I was finally able to track some Westinghouse 5303200 bulbs down and ordered them. In the meantime I bought a couple of 25 watt halogen bulbs and put one in each series. That got rid of most of the flicker but the lights wouldn’t dim. The Westinghouse bulbs arrived yesterday and I installed them today. They work better than the Globes but they still don’t dim and there is a flicker. The one bulb for the stairs sort of dims and one mildly flickers.
Commercial Electric states these kits are compatible with four Lutron switches and one other Leviton switch.
What is your experience? Are these switches junk? Are the Commercial Electric kits junk? Is this a wiring issue? The three ways are connected by 14/3 travelers and the switches and power-in are on 12/2.
 

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I had similar issues trying to find a switch that was compatible with my bulbs. Eventually I found that Electronic Low-Voltage Switches are the best switches to use for LED lights. They are slightly more expensive than other switches and they require a neutral wire, but they work amazing. Their dimming profile has been by far the best out of the switches I’ve tried and they have completely removed the disco party flicker from the lights.

I believe I used Leviton ELV switches with Phillips LED bulbs, but the ELV type switches have worked well with all types of bulbs tried.

I am not a big fan of the Lutron products but this is the first link that appeared showing the differences between the types of switches. You’ll see different types of switches use different parts of the waveform. This apparently makes a huge difference with LED type lights.

https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Education-Training/Pages/LCE/DimmingBasics.aspx

My issue was also partially caused by the cheep LED bulbs I first tried to used they came as a combo deal included with the pot lights I purchased. The box said they could be dimmed but they were super finicky. I eventually replaced those bulbs with the Phillips brand and that helped a lot as well. I can run those bulbs on a standard LED compatible 2 wire dimmer, without requiring an ELV type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, this helps a lot. You’re not joking about the price difference. I have ten switches going down there so I think I’ll try the Phillips bulbs first, then switch out two switches at a time if I have too.
 
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