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Lighting Dimmers

The level of light in our homes affects the way we do our work and the way we feel. Using the right type of lighting can change the mood of a room, with the flick of a switch. We need to use some rooms for many different purposes, and different functions call for varying amounts of light.

Using lighting dimmers, ambient, task, and accent lighting can be controlled by the turn of a knob, the slide of a lever, or with a controller. You can turn down the lights for a relaxing bath or a romantic candlelit dinner with lighting dimmers that come in a large variety of types and controlability.

Lighting dimmers save on energy and extend the life of the bulb, by actually reducing the voltage, thus reducing the energy used. However, the reduction in light doesn’t completely reflect the reduction in energy use. For example, a 100-watt bulb dimmed to the output of a 60-watt bulb will draw about 70 watts. If you plan to keep your lighting at a certain level, using that type of bulb would be more efficient than using a dimmer.

Dimmers come in a large variety of styles. A touch dimmer will change the lighting level with only a touch of a button and with features that return the lighting to the previous level of light with another touch of the button. Some dimmers have light indicators, showing the current setting and helping you locating the switch. Slide dimmers can be set to a specific lighting level, keeping the light level the same whenever you turn on the lights. There are also controllers that will control the light and speed of a ceiling fan.

Remote-control dimmers are now available. Just plug the dimmer into a lamp and then into the outlet, like an extension cord, and control the lamp light with an inline switch.

If you’re comfortable around electricity, dimmers are simple to install. Simply replace your current switch with the dimmer switch. Always make sure to turn off electricity at the breaker box and test the circuit with a tester before you replace anything electrical. If you’re unsure about handling electricity, call a qualified electrician.

Lighting dimmers can make any room in the house versatile to any mood, style, or task. Consider installing dimmers with your next remodel or to enhance your decor.

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