How Does a Dimmer Switch Work?
A light dimmer is a piece of equipment that lets you adjust the light intensity of a bulb from low to high through the use of a TRIAC that restricts the flow of electricity to decrease the light of a bulb. This can make a room much more versatile. Plus, it’s convenient to use one bulb rather than a variety of bulbs with different watts to light a room.
What is a TRIAC?
Through the use of a triode AC switch (TRIAC), which is a type of relay, the light circuit is turned on and off at a rapid rate to reduce the amount of energy flowing from the switch to the light. TRIAC is a good choice for incandescent light bulbs because the filament in the light bulb does not appear choppy. However, TRIAC dimmer switches do not work with LED light bulbs.
Can Dimmer Switches be Used on Any Type of Light?
The best type of bulbs to use with a dimmer switch are incandescent and halogen bulbs. One reason is cost efficiency, as these bulbs are comparatively affordable. Another is versatility, as these two types of bulbs can be used with any kind of light dimmer. Incandescent dimmers can be adjusted from 0 – 100% brightness.
Fluorescent and LED bulbs aren’t recommended for use with traditional dimmer switches because their light level can only be lowered up to about 20 percent of the maximum brightness. In addition, these types of bulbs have specific power needs and can’t operate properly with a TRIAC. Often, these bulbs will either shut off completely or simply not dim at all when used with this type of dimmer switch.
The CL Dimmer: An Option for LEDs and Fluorescent Lights
The good news is that you can switch to energy-efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs if you opt for a CL dimmer. This type of dimmer uses resistors to change the power output to reduce the light brightness. If you’re not sure what type of bulb or dimmer you need, Bryant Electric’s residential electrical services professionals can help you choose the best option for your needs.
Benefits of Using Dimmer Switches
The use of a dimmer switch has multiple advantages. Through the use of a dimmer, you can reduce the amount of energy you’re using, thus saving money on your electric bill. Also, with a dimmer switch, it’s easy to adjust the ambiance of the room to suit your preferences at any time. Dimmer switches also extend the lifespan of your bulbs, which reduces your bulb replacement costs.
Enjoy a More Efficient Home
At Bryant Electric Service, we’re experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to installing dimmer switches and three-way switches, which lets you control one light from switches located at different spots of your home. Contact us today to upgrade your home’s lighting or learn more about our services.