Why add dimmers to your new home?
Adding dimmer switches to regular incancescent and halogen fixtures can be an inexpensive way to add ambience to your home and decrease your energy consumption. Lighting accounts for about 15% of power consumed in the average Canadian Home. Many of our clients choose pot lights inside and outside their homes. For these I often recommend dimmers, as often times, the full intensity of the bulb is not required. We even install them on exterior pot lights as the client often finds a subltle wash of light in the evening enough to light sidewalks and rear porch areas. Dining rooms are also a trerrific area to be able to dim the light and get that ‘candle-lit’ effect.
Can I use them on energy saving bulbs?
Although dimmers typically cannot be mated with fixtures that utilize CFL (compact flourescent lights) or LED (light emmitting diode) bulbs, there are some bulbs now entering the market of this type that can be dimmed. Make sure to check the packaging to ensure they are dimmable.
The amount of energy saved with dimmer switches varies greatly, depending on how much you dim the lights, how long they are dimmed and which type of bulbs you choose. Energy savings using compact fluorescent light bulbs mirrors the level of reduction, meaning that lowering the lights by 25 percent results in a 25-percent energy savings during the time the dimmer is used. Upgrading to high-efficiency light fixtures with efficient light bulbs results in more energy savings than installing dimmer switches to operate ordinary fixtures.
Replacing old standard switches
If you choose to upgrade as switch to a dimmable switch, it is advisable to contract a reputable electrician, not only to ensure proper installation, but to maintain the integrity of your home and reduce the chance of injury due to improper installation. If you are confident that you can make the upgrade yourself, please remember to locate the circuit breaker that cuts off the power to the fixture and turn it off.