How Does a Dimmer Switch Work?

You take it for granted until it stops working. This is true for dozens of things in your home, including your dimmer switch. The casual do-it-yourselfer might find the dimmer switch fix a bit daunting, because how the dimmer switch works is not obvious to the naked eye.

But what is happening inside your dimmer switch? How is it making the lights go down?

The dimmer switch works by simply cutting the amount of electricity that is flowing through the circuit into the lights. That means, instead of drinking electricity, it is sipping it, and sending less to your lights.

Advantages of using a dimmer switch

There are many advantages to using a dimmer switch.

First, there are simple lifestyle advantages. Sometimes you want the room to be just a bit darker, for a movie perhaps, or an intimate meal. Or perhaps the glare is too bright when you are working on your computer screen.

Another advantage is electricity usage and costs. When you use the dimmer switch to reduce the amount of electricity flowing to your bulbs, that means you are using less electricity overall. Instead of having two settings for your electrical usage, on and off, you set up multiple options. And with the exception of “all the way on,” all of the other settings are saving you money.

A final advantage comes with modern wi-fi technology that allows you to dim from your phone or laptop. Never before have more remote options been available to set the perfect atmosphere in whatever room you are in.

Problems with using a dimmer switch

Of course, dimmer switches are not without some drawbacks.

First, some bulb types simply do not dim. If you are using a dimmer switch, you need to be more attentive to your bulb choices. Especially with today’s advanced bulbs that cost more and last quite a bit longer, you can make an expensive mistake. By getting the wrong bulb you can end up with a dimmer switch that is really just a an on/off switch because the bulbs simply light until they don;t have enough electricity, and then they shut off.

Dimmer switches are also a little more difficult to install, especially if there are multiple dimmers attached to the same set of lights. If you’re using a professional electrician this is not a problem, but if you have only installed on/off switches and are working on a do-it-yourself project, this can present a bit of a learning challenge.

Contact Price Electric for your dimmer switch needs.

How does a dimmer switch work?

Photo by Ochir-Erdene Oyunmedeg on Unsplash

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