If you’ve been to a nice restaurant, spa or theatre, you’ve experienced first-hand the effect lighting has on your mood. Dimmable lighting can help you wind down as well as be functional.
Whether you want to add a spa-like feel to your bathroom or you’re looking to resolve issues with your existing dimmable lighting, we’re here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about dimming.
Pros and Cons of Dimmers
We all know that dimmers and smart dimmer switches allow you to customise the light in your space, but did you know there are even more benefits to adding dimmers to your home? Allow us to illuminate the pros and cons of dimming.
Pros of Dimming
The most popular reason people decide to add dimmers to their homes is to give them the ability to adjust the brightness of a light fixture. Lowering the lights in your home can add function to an in-home theatre, a zen-like quality to your bathroom or a way to wind down in any space of your home.
Not only does lowering the brightness of your lights change the mood of your space, but it also reduces your energy usage. Decreasing your electricity use results in savings on your energy bill.
Dimming your lights also decreases the amount of energy running through your light globe. With less energy running through the light, your globes will last longer, saving you additional funds on globe purchases and time between changing globes. The one exception to this is halogen globes. Halogen globes tend to have a shorter lifespan overall, so keep that in mind when making your selection.
Cons of Dimming
While trading your standard lighting to dimmable lighting is easy, it does require more than just swapping out your light switch. If you don’t have electrical experience, you may need to hire an electrician to do the installation. Be sure to factor in this cost of labour before you decide to purchase a dimmer.
Older dimmers may not have the same benefits as modern light dimmers. Legacy dimmers were created for use with incandescent lights. Unfortunately, these dimmers don’t have the same energy and cost-saving benefits.
While legacy dimmers will dim your lights, instead of reducing electricity use, they continuously use the same amount of electricity but convert the unused electricity to thermal energy. If your home has dimmers installed, have an electrician confirm the type of dimmers they are to ensure you’re reaping all of the dimmer benefits.
If you have no electrical experience, researching dimmers can be overwhelming. If you’re in the dark about dimmers, contact our experts for more information about Ozlighting’s collection of dimmable lights.
Can a dimmer be used on any light switch?
Yes, you can replace any standard light switch with a dimmer. Replacing the light switch is easy, but if you don’t have experience with electricity, please consult a professional for assistance.
Which type of dimmer should I select?
When selecting a dimmer, you’ll need to look at the type of globe you’ll be purchasing, as well as the wattage. The dimmer will need to have equal to or greater than the wattage of the light globes you will be using. For instance, if your light fixture holds five 60 watt bulbs, your dimmer must have a wattage of 350 or greater. You can check the watt rating of your dimmer on the packaging and on the Ozlighting website.
How do I know if my light globe is dimmable?
The key to dimmable lighting is the type of globe. You can use a dimmer on most CFL, LED, halogen and incandescent globes, but check the product information before purchasing. The packaging will note if the light globe is dimmable and which type of dimmers the light is compatible with. Please keep in mind that while dimmable globes will work on a non-dimmable switch, non-dimmable globes will not work on a dimmable switch.
Dimmer Issues and Troubleshooting
There are a handful of common issues with dimmable lighting. You can find the cause of most of these issues by doing some easy troubleshooting.
- Flickering Lights meaning the lights periodically flash.
- Ghosting which means the light remains on when the dimmer is turned off.
- Drop Out or Pop On meaning the light suddenly turns off when dimming the light or turns on when brightening the light.
- Unresponsive meaning the light doesn’t respond when you are adjusting the dimmer.
- Switch is Hot meaning the switch feels hot to the touch.
- Buzzing which means a buzzing sound is coming from the switch.
Check Your Globes
The first thing to check when you notice an issue is your globe. Start simply: Are the globes screwed in tightly? If so, check the type of globe. Globes not marked with the dimmable symbol on the packaging won’t work with dimmers.
Check the packaging on your dimmer to see which types of globes are compatible. Remember, not all globes are compatible with all dimmers. For example, older dimmers don’t always work well with newer LED globes.
Check the Dimmer Watt Rating
As mentioned above, each dimmer is assigned a watt rating. When selecting your globes, make sure you select a total wattage that’s less than or equal to the watt rating of your dimmer.
Call an Electrician
You’ve confirmed that your globes are dimmable, that your dimmer is compatible, and that your watt rating is not the issue. At this point, you may have an electrical issue such as a loose wire or an overloaded circuit. If you believe your issue is electrical, play it safe and contact an electrician for assistance.
Now that you know the basics of dimming, it’s time to find the right dimmable lighting for you. If you’re ready to upgrade your home with dimmable lighting, shop Ozlighting to find everything from dimmers to smart switches and dimmable globes.