Adding lighting controls in your home, from simple wall switch dimmers to programmable control systems add adjustable voltage to your light fixtures, will provide multiple benefits. The following are benefits of dimmer and lighting controls:
- Flexibility for the use of lighting in each room
- Save energy because of reduced wattage
- Save money
Controls add flexibility to the use of lighting in each room; for example, dimming to a lower level when the activity in a room changes during a social gathering or while watching a movie. Having the capability to lower lighting levels in any room allows you to save energy and money.
Types of Lighting Controls
Commonly called “wallbox” dimmers because they mount in the box for a wall switch these simple manual control devices are available in different types as well as appearance to match other switches in the same room.
Four examples of dimmers:
- Integrated: Integrated dimming systems are very versatile. You can use them to create multiple lighting presets for one room. Then, a button on the wall or a wireless control is used to select the settings.
- Touch: Touch dimmers also allow change in lighting with just one button. You can use one-touch recall to switch back to the prior level of light, and some touch dimmers use a lighted indicator to show the current setting.
- Slide: Slide dimmers provide manual control of your lighting. Some slide dimmers also have a button to easily switch back to the prior setting.
- Rotary: Rotary dimmers are also manual, and they operate on a dial. Many also have push-button control that allows you to turn off the light and retain the current setting.
More sophisticated programmable control systems enable switching and dimming of groups of lights in a space to create preset configuration or scenes in a space recalled at the touch of a button. These systens are more expensive than manual dimmers and switches but offer greater flexibility.
Save Energy & Money
Dimmer switches and other controls systems are a great additions to your lighting because they save energy. For example dimming a halogen bulb by 20% saves about 18% of the energy costs to operate it. Dimmer switches also make your light bulbs last longer. A halogen light bulb normally lasting 5-6 months can last up to 3 or 4 years. Unlike incandescent it will increase bulb life. Dimming fluorescent sources will provide savings in electricity and the convenience of controlling light levels.
Add Ambience in an Instant
In addition to saving money, dimmer switches will easily add ambience to any room in your house. Many dimmer switches can be programmed to change at certain times or switched easily via touch screens and wireless controls. Dimmer switches have advanced greatly from the typical rotary style dimmers that exist in older homes.
Help Yourself Fall Asleep
Finally, dimmer switches are also useful in the bedroom to help relax between the days activities and falling asleep. Some studies have indicated that lowering the lights one hour before bedtime will help you fall asleep. With a dimmer switch, you can either lower the lights manually or program them to lower at a specific time each night. This will help you set a regular sleep schedule and train your body to fall asleep at the same time every night.