Types of Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches are devices that let you fine-tune the level of lighting in your home. Though dimmers are easy to use, both selecting the right type and proper installation are important.

To help you make the right choices, check out this guide to types and styles of dimmer switches:

Why Add Dimmers to Your House?

1. Electricity Savings

Adding dimmers will increase your lighting system’s energy efficiency, especially when installed as part of a home automation system. When you use only the light you need, you significantly reduce your electricity costs.

To illustrate: Turn down the lighting slightly to 90% capacity, and you’ll save 10%. Dimming to 25% capacity will save an amazing 60%!

2. Flexibility

Dimmers are a convenient way to adjust the brightness of your lights and lamps — and, by extension, the atmosphere of your room. That’s an extremely useful feature to add to today’s open floor plan homes.

You can crank up the lighting while your children are focused on homework, for example. Then, turn the lights down low up so Mom and Dad can enjoy a relaxing ambience once the kids are in bed.

3. Longer Life For Your Lightbulbs

Many lightbulbs will last longer when controlled with dimmers (with the notable exception of fluorescents). As a result, you’ll end up sending less waste to the landfill. You will also avoid the hassle of having to change bulbs often.

4. Security

Are you going out of town? A house that is either totally dark or blazing with light 24/7 can send the dangerous message, “No one’s home!” Not so when you use dimmers and smart technology to vary the level of lighting in a more natural way.

Make Sure to Choose the Right Dimmer for Your Light Source

  1. Incandescent & Halogen. An old-school incandescent or halogen bulb will need a standard dimmer (also known as “rotary”).
  2. Fluorescent. Each kind of fluorescent dimming ballast should be used with the proper UL-listed dimmer.
  3. Magnetic Low-Voltage (MLV). Incandescent dimmers can seriously damage MLV lights. Instead, install an inductive dimmer switch.
  4. Electronic Low-Voltage (ELV). Pair ELV lights with capacitive dimmer switches.
  5. LED Dimmer. LED lights tend to flicker when used with traditional dimmers. Solve this problem by having a special LED dimmer installed and make sure your LED bulbs are compatible. (Use this LED Compatibility Tool .)

How Do You Choose a Dimmer for Your Home?

Next, you have a fun decision to make.  We offer a selection of literally hundreds of stand-alone dimmers and switches manufactured by Lutron. Here is an overview of the styles available:

  • Designer Style
  • Traditional Style
  • Architectural Style
  • New Architectural Style
  • Wireless

Look through the complete list and find the best dimmer to complement your décor.

We Can Help!

Sun Electric is your source for the full range of Lutron dimmers and switches. Big box stores are limited to just a few choices, but we’ve got the selection you want.

Ask us for expert advice on the right dimmer model(s) for your light source and your home décor. We’ll professionally install your new dimmer, too!

CONTACT US TODAY