dimmer switch -- Tim Kyle

Discovering Dimmer Switch Options

Upgrading your basic light switch to a dimmer switch provides more control over how you light your home. There are a number of different types of dimmer switches from which to choose. Learn more to pick the one that best suits your needs.

The Basics of a Dimmer Switch

There are multiple reasons to use dimmers on your lights. Perhaps most importantly, dimmers help you save money by drawing less power and extending the lives of lightbulbs. By conserving electricity, you’re also reducing stress on the environment as a whole. Scientific studies additionally suggest that dimming lights in the evenings, mimicking the effect of the setting sun, helps you sleep. Dimmed lighting also provides ambience, thus making a room look more inviting.

There are several types of dimmer switches:

  • Rotary dimmer switches have rotating knobs controlling lighting levels, and are what most people picture when thinking of dimmers.
  • Slide control dimmer switches slide instead of rotate, going from dimmer at the bottom to bright towards the top.
  • Toggle dimmers operate like a traditional toggle light switch with a miniature sliding dimmer to the side, returning the light level automatically when you flick the switch.
  • Rocker dimmer switches work similarly to traditional toggle switches, but have a more modern look.
  • Tap dimmer switches often include LED lighting to display the light level, and returns light to its pre-set level with a touch-sensitive button.

Knowing what wattage rating your dimmer switch has is important. You want one that equals or exceeds the total wattage coming from all the lightbulbs your dimmer switch controls. For example, if you want your dimmer switch to control six 60-watt lightbulbs, you’ll want a dimmer rated for 360 watts or more.

Also, make sure you use dimmer switches designed specifically for the lightbulbs you’re using. The four types are

  • Compact dimming fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Electronic Low Frequency (ELV)
  • Halogen and incandescent lightbulbs
  • Magnetic Low Frequency (MLV)

Make sure you use the right bulb. If not, it could overheat thus reducing its life and potentially creating a fire hazard.

Contact an Electrician in Taneytown

Have dimmer switches installed by a licensed electrician in Taneytown or elsewhere in Carroll County to prevent any issues or hazards. The electricians at Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling can help provide greater control over the lighting in your home. Contact us today. We are available for all your electrical installation and maintenance needs.

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