The Basics of Dimmers: Why Install Light Dimmers?
Dimmers allow you to adjust the output levels of your lights, and are a great way to get the perfect ambiance and lighting levels in any space. They’re useful for creating the ideal atmosphere or to reflect a specific time of day by complementing or offsetting the amount of daylight coming into a space. For example, if you've installed dimmers in your living room, you'll be able to easily darken the room while you’re watching a movie, but brighten it if you want to read or work. Dimmers can be ordered for just about all applications, from simple single-room dimming to commercial dimming, and architectural lighting.
There are a variety of benefits dimmers offer, in addition to giving the user complete lighting control. Dimmers can actually increase the lifespan of your fixtures and reduce your energy consumption, since they reduce the wattage used by a connected fixture, so they’re excellent for installation in both residential and commercial spaces. You’ll always want to choose a dimmer that’s compatible with your specific light fixture or lamp. You need to match the dimmer to your load, because individual fixture characteristics require specific dimming technologies for safe, quality installation.
Forward Phase and Reverse Phase dimmers control attached light figures using the AC power, which simplifies installation and wiring. On the other side, 0-10V, DMX, and DALI dimming systems utilize a dedicated control signal that is separate from the AC power. While this adds some complexity to the installation, it results in greater system performance and reliability.
There are many dimming options out there, and pros and cons to each, but be sure to choose a dimmer that’s specifically designed, tested, and UL listed for your lighting source.
What are the Dimmer Location Options?
Dimmers typically come in three location options:
- Single-pole: Single-pole dimmers are designed to provide dimming control from only one location.
- Three-way: Three-way dimmers also adjust the lighting levels of your space from one location, but can be installed with three-way on/off switches that allow you to turn the lights on to the dimmer level from a variety of different locations.
- Multi-location: Multi-location dimmers are typically paired with accessory dimmers that allow you to fully control and dim the light output from many locations.
You can always contact us if you have any more questions about which type of dimmer to choose for your space, budget or powering requirements.