What is a Dimmer?

Candice Olson, from HGTV Divine Design, loves dimmers. And, so do we! This is a general definition. A dimmer (also called a dimmer switch) is a device that is used to regulate the amount of power dispersed to a light. It controls brightness manually or by remote control.

Dimmers are used for numerous reasons including electricity conservation,  cutting power cost, controlling mood, emitting ambiance, helping sleep patterns of infants, or as task lighting. Low light levels create a nice relaxing atmosphere, while brighter light is necessary for activities like reading. With the touch of a switch or a knob, a dimmer can be adjusted to the right setting. Perfect!

“But how does a dimmer work,” you ask.  A simple explanation is that the power current is cut back by the switch, allowing only a certain amount of current to reach the light. The strength of the current that moves through the filament in the light bulb determines the amount of light given off by the bulb. This amount of current is determined by the various settings the switch provides. A dimmer may have a switch plate with a switch that slides up and down with settings  numbered or shown as high, medium, and low.

Another type of dimmer uses a knob that is turned clockwise to increase the level of light, and counterclockwise to dim the light. The settings may be marked and a tiny click may be heard as the knob is set to another level, or the knob may move smoothly through the different settings until the desired level of dimness or brightness is achieved.

A final type of dimmer is digital. It uses a microprocessor, tends to be less expensive, and is generally considered more reliable than other options.

If you want to know How To Install a Dimmer Switch Yourself this is a great video. If you need help call an electrician. If you are in the Statesboro, Savannah, St. Simons area then call us. redbpower would love to brighten your dimmer projects!


About redbpower

small electrical contractor offering low and high voltage services for businesses, people, and places especially in the South Georgia area. View all posts by redbpower

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