A standard light switch gives you two lighting options — full brightness or none at all. Dimmers give you more control over the level of light in a room, which opens up stylistic possibilities and saves electricity. By using only as much light as you need, you can save on your lighting bill while extending the life of your bulbs.
Even a small reduction makes a difference. The human eye can barely tell the difference between full and 90% brightness, but setting a dimmer at this level can still save you 10% on the room's lighting costs. Good to know:
- Dimmer switches replace standard flip switches and come in several different designs.
- Dimmers and other lighting controls are not compatible with all compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). If you plan to use these products together, choose lights that are specifically labeled on the packaging as "dimmable" and make sure they are compatible with the type of dimmer you are using.
- Specialty lighting stores, hardware stores and some general retailers carry dimmers.
Safety tip: Hire a licensed electrician to install a new dimmer or switch in your home.