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Dimmer Switches in the Home

Energy Conservation is Romantic!

Dimmer switches are an easy way to make a room multi-functional because they supply different levels of lighting for different uses. You might use your living room to entertain as well as take time out to read the paper, for instance. The lighting requirements for both these activities are quite different and a dimmer switch can easily adjust lighting levels by sliding a lever or turning a knob.

Modern dimmer switches utilize a technology that reduces the total amount of energy required to produce light in the bulb as you dim the switch. This of course not only creates the perfect ambiance, but also has an impact on the environment and your energy bill at the end of the month!

Models

 

Rotary

This is the classic design that you press to turn on and off, and rotate the dial to adjust the light.

Click Here to Shop All Rotary Switches

600 Watt Rotary Dimmer Switch $7.49
at The Home Depot
Rotary Replacement Knob Ivory $1.98
at The Home Depot
 

Electronic

The electronic dimmer consists of a series of buttons, each controlling varying levels of light.  The entire switch is illuminated from the back so it is easy to find in the dark and doubles as a night light.

Sliding

This consists of a sliding lever and a switch.  The slider adjusts the light while the switch enables you to “bookmark” a lighting level just by using it to turn the light on and off.  This means that you don’t have to readjust your lighting every time you use the switch.  The sliding model is noted to be the most energy conservative of dimmer switches.

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TOGGLER ECO 600W 1P/3W DIMMER - WH $21.98
at The Home Depot
 

Electronic Eye

This is the motion sensor of dimmers.  It turns on when you enter a room and off when you leave which makes it perfect for a bathroom.

Fans

These switches are specifically designed to manage the much stronger electrical resistance that it takes to start a fan motor.  Once installed, the fan speed can be controlled with a sliding lever and turning it on and off with the switch effectively “bookmarks” your setting.

Click Here to Shop All Fan Dimmers

Skylark Fan Light Control White $48.97
at The Home Depot
Maestro Light/Fan Control in White $59.98
at The Home Depot
All Fan Remote Control $69.99
at The Home Depot
 

Installation

Although dimmer switches do not require any special wiring to install, installation is still an electrical project and extreme caution should be taken if you are going to install one yourself. Before you start, make sure that your dimmer is rated for the total wattage of your fixture & that you have purchased the correct switch.

If your dimmer is the only switch for a light fixture, you need a single-pole dimmer switch. If your light can be turned on from two switches ie. at the top and bottom of the stairs, you will need a three-way switch. If you are installing a dimmer on a ceiling fan, you have the appropriate dimmer switch for the job.

Kill the electricity! Turn off the circuit breaker that controls the switch you are working on.


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