Saving Money With Dimmer Switches

If your dimmer switch is an old one you may find that it just converts the excess power into heat at the dimmer switch itself, which does not really save you any money.

However, the later model dimmer switches do help save money by reducing the power when the lights are turned down.

One of the biggest advantages of dimmer switches is that they can be adjusted to provide just the right amount of light that is necessary. When you are ready to settle down with a good book to read you can turn the light on to bright and you can reduce the lighting when you are in the mood for romance. Think about it- all other romantic overtures involve some expenditure of money; whereas here’s one that’s actually saving you money. How’s that for romance!

There’s more good news in store for you. Light bulbs last longer when you use a dimmer to keep them burning at less than maximum intensity. It is estimated that you save about 1/5th of the required electricity when you dim the lights by 25% , which means when you dim the lights by 50% you save a whopping 40% of the required electricity. That’s a significant amount by any standard.

Disadvantages of Dimmers

The biggest disadvantage of dimmers is that they are incompatible with most fluorescent lamps, especially Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s).

Even those fluorescent lights that are typically advertised as dimmable are usually best left undimmed. You could end up actually reducing the life span of your fluorescent lamp if you connect it to a dimmer switch.

The Future of Dimmers

Although dimmers are inexpensive and relatively easy and simple to install, the foreseeable future looks rather dim for the dimmer. With global warming staring us in the face and the ever increasing popularity of the green movement, incandescent bulbs look all set to be a thing of the past while the future looks promising for Compact Fluorescent Lamps. Since CFL’s are incompatible with dimmers, this can threaten the very existence of dimmers in the future.

It’s really like being between a rock and a hard place. You have to choose between saving money with an incandescent bulb and a dimmer or saving the environment with a Compact Fluorescent Lamp and no dimmer. Besides CFL’s don’t make too many allowance for romance, do they? They just keep burning brightly irrespective of whether you feel like reading or you just feel like cuddling up.

With so much lobbying to stop manufacturing incandescent lamps and increase production of CFL’s, very soon you may not have a choice at all. Australia leads the way in bringing about environmentally friendly changes and is discouraging its citizens from using incandescent bulbs altogether. Other countries are slowly but surely following suit.

While it may not be such a good idea to go rushing about buying and installing dimmers now, if you already have dimmers installed, go ahead and use them as save as much money as you can, while you can.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.