If you’ve ever been in a dark room and felt like you couldn’t find the light switch, you know how frustrating it can be. It feels like an eternity before you finally locate the light switch and get some relief. But this need not be the case any more! With a dimmer switch, your lights will no longer be too bright or too dark.
In this guide, we are going to look at everything you should know about dimmer switches. At the end of it, you will be in a perfect position to make the right decision regarding the purchase.
- 1 What is a dimmer switch?
- 2 How do dimmer switches work?
- 3 Types of dimmer switches
- 4 Control styles of dimmer switches
- 5 What do I need to know before installing a dimmer switch?
- 6 Can a dimmer switch be used on any lights?
- 7 What is the best time to install dimmer switches?
- 8 Conclusion
What is a dimmer switch?
A dimmer switch is a special kind of light switch that allows you to control the brightness of your lights. It does this by varying the amount of power delivered to the light bulb.
The dimming process is performed electronically, and it works by turning on and off the full power supply to your light bulb. When you turn on a dimmer switch, it goes through a series of cycles, starting with the full power supply then gradually decreasing it until it reaches zero. As such, your lights will not flicker when you use a dimmer switch.
Dimmer switches are available in different styles including rotary knob and slide-style switches. They are usually used to control overhead lighting fixtures or lamps rather than wall lighting fixtures because they can effectively manage light intensity levels without significantly affecting ambience or mood lighting.
It is also worth noting that dimmer switches can be used on both fluorescence and LED lighting fixtures without any limitations.
How do dimmer switches work?
Dimmer switches work like all other light switches but instead of providing full power, they provide less power. They do this by turning the power on and off in cycles. As such, they do not produce any flickering.
Dimmer switches are turned on or off using a rotary knob or a slide bar, and their position determines the amount of power provided to the light bulb. This means that when you turn on a dimmer switch, it starts from full power then gradually decreases until it reaches zero.
Dimmer switches typically have four different positions, with each one corresponding to a different light intensity level: fully-on, half-power, quarter-power and off.
These four positions can be used to control both overhead lighting fixtures and lamps without significantly affecting mood lighting or ambience.
However, you should bear in mind that dimmer switches can also be used to control wall lighting fixtures provided they are designed for use with dimmers .
Types of dimmer switches
When it comes to buying dimmer switches, you are likely to encounter a myriad of options. So, you need to do due diligence so as to end up with the right choice.
First you should know that there are different types of dimmer switches. Let’s look at some of them:
Leading edge dimmer switches
As the name suggests, these types of switches control the light by turning it on and off at regular intervals.
When you use these types of switches, they either turn on or off the lights rapidly at first then gradually slow down the rate of speed. This is done to help you get used to the change in light intensity.
There are three leading edge dimmer switches: rapid, medium and slow. You can choose one depending on your needs and preferences.
Trailing edge dimming switches
This type of switch is similar to the leading edge type except that it increases the light intensity gradually.
This switch is more expensive than the leading edge one but is worth it since you can control the light as you want.
This type of dimmer switch works great when you want to create an ambience in a room or area.
Trailing edge dimmer switches are not common in most homes because most people prefer to have instant lighting or darkness. However, they are ideal for restaurants, home theaters and other places where you require a gradual change in lighting from dark to bright or from bright to dark.
In most markets, trailing dimmer switches are often referred to as ‘intelligent’ switches. Being complex also means that they are more expensive to buy than the leading edge dimmer switches.
This type of dimmer switch is used in low voltage lighting systems.
This is the most common type of dimmer switch used in homes and offices. They are designed to work with incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lights.
These switches are popular among homeowners because they are easy to install and can be used with existing lights.
Inductive dimmers come in two types: single-pole and three-way dimmers. Single pole dimmers control one light while three-way one’s control two or more lights at a time.
Inductive dimmers can be installed without any additional wiring which makes them easy to install.
They also have a simple design that does not require much maintenance. They are also relatively cheaper than other types of dimmer switches on the market today making them affordable for most people who want to install them in their homes or offices.
Dimming fluorescent fittings
Another type of dimmer switch is designed to work with fluorescent lighting. This type of switch is designed to ensure that the light emitted by the fluorescent lighting fixtures are not affected by the dimmer switch.
Most fluorescent lights have a lifespan of around 10,000 hours and they emit light at a high frequency. This type of dimmer switch is designed to ensure that the life span of the fluorescent lights are not affected when they are used with a dimmer switch.
These switches are also designed to ensure that light emitted by these lamps do not flicker when they are used with a dimmer switch.
So, from these types of dimming fluorescent switches, which one do you think will perfectly fit your application? At ICRFQ, we have experts who will guide you in choosing the right dimming switch suitable for your application area.
Control styles of dimmer switches
You can also choose dimmer switches based on their control mechanism. The control style simply defines how you determine the output of the dimmer switch. Here are the different control styles for the dimmer switches.
-Rotary dimmers: a rotary dimmer is a dimmer switch that has a rotary knob that can be turned to adjust the level of light. It is also called a dimmer knob.
-Slider dimmers: sliders are used in combination with slide and lock levers to control the level of light. It is also called a slide dimmer switch.
-Push button switches: push buttons are used to control the amount of light from the source with a single push of it. It has been widely used in residential and industrial applications where safety is very important.
-Toggle dimmers: From the name, these dimmers worked by toggling or shifting mechanism. It is used for applications that need to control the light level quickly and easily.
-Dimmers with preset functions: In this type of dimmer switch, the preset function can be controlled by a single push. The preset function is called by pushing a button on the dimmer switch. It is also called a dimmer with presets or dimmers with presets.
-Dual control switches: This type of dimmers has two switches in one unit, one for adjusting light level and another for controlling other functions such as timer and occupancy sensor. It is also called dual control switches or dual control dimmers.
-Tap dimmers: These dimmer switches are commonly found in smart homes and buildings characterized by high-end technology. Their control mechanism is characterized by the tap action. You simply need to tap on the screen and the switch will implement the action.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from. Your choice will majorly depend on the convenience that you desire to get from the dimmer switch.
So, which switching mechanism do you think will be perfect for you?
What do I need to know before installing a dimmer switch?
There are a number of factors to consider and things to know before you buy and install a dimmer switch, either at your place or commercial place. Here are some of these key things:
Decide on the type of the dimmer switch
As we have seen, there are different types of dimmer switches for sale. They are divided based on their switching mechanism or their delivery. Once you are fully aware of these different types, you can proceed to choose the right one for your application.
Check the cost of the dimmer switch
Before buying a dimmer switch, it is important that you check first how much it costs. This will help you determine whether or not it is worth buying. If you are buying a dimmer switch for your home and expect to pay a lot, then it would be better if you check first whether or not installing this type of switch would be worth your money.
Check the installation requirements
Before installing any dimmer switch, it is important that you check first on what requirements are needed to install this type of device. You can do this by going to the manufacturer’s website and looking at the installation guide.
There are some manufacturers who have their own website where you can find detailed instructions on how to install a dimmer switch at your place.
The type of light to be controlled by the switch
Another thing to consider when choosing a dimmer switch is the type of light you would want to control. This is because every type of light has different requirements in terms of the dimmer switch you should use. For example, if you are controlling an incandescent bulb, then you need a dimmer switch that can control the brightness and turn it on and off at will.
But for other types of lights such as fluorescent lamps, Halogen lamps or High Intensity Discharge bulbs, the dimmer switch should be able to adjust its brightness with the help of a knob or dial in order to achieve greater control over its brightness.
The type of circuit you are using
If you are using an electrical circuit that is controlled by a dimmer switch, then your choice will be determined by what kind of circuit there is. If it is an electronic circuit then there are only two types available:
The first one is the electronic timer which uses a microprocessor and the other one is the contactor which uses a relay.
The electronic timer circuit can be used to control a number of different types of appliances and devices including fans, lights, motors and other electrical appliances. The contactor circuit can be used to control lighting components such as lamps, ballasts, and motorized fans.
Can a dimmer switch be used on any lights?
Yes. Most lights are compatible with dimmer switches. However, you should first confirm whether the type of dimmer switch that you want to buy will be fully compatible with your switch type.
What is the best time to install dimmer switches?
Dimmer switches can be installed in any time period provided the installation is done properly. However, if the installation is done improperly or if it does not follow the instructions properly then it may lead to some problems.
The best time to install a dimmer switch is when you have already installed all your electrical appliances and devices. This will help you determine what kind of circuits you may need too and also when it would be best to install them.
A proper installation would be one that involves a professional electrician who knows how to install these switches correctly without leading to any problems.
At this point, you have learned everything you need to know about dimmer switches. The next course of action is to proceed with the installation of the dimmer switch.
At ICRFQ, we have different types of dimmer switches for sale in China. So, if you ever consider buying a dimmer switch in China, we are your right plug.
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