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    Less than $100 Dimmer Switches

    Add Light Dimmers

    While this home improvement takes just a little skill, any homeowner with just a little bit of electrical savvy can install dimmers on their lighting. It is a fairly easy job. Dimmers are inexpensive, ranging in price from less than $10 to several times that for programmable dimmers at Lowes.  The option to dim the lights not only makes it easier on the eyes but can also ramp up the ambience in any room.

    Adding lighting controls in a home, from simple wall switch dimmers to programmable control systems add adjustable voltage to a room’s light fixtures and provides multiple benefits. These are a few of benefits of dimmer and lighting controls:

    • Flexibility for the use of lighting in each room

    • Save energy because of reduced wattage

    • Save money

    Controls add flexibility to the use of lighting in each room. A living room’s lighting can be lowered when the activity in a room changes during a social gathering or while watching a movie.   Having the capability to lower lighting levels in any room allows a homeowner to save energy and money.

    Types of Dimmer Controls

    Commonly called “wallbox” dimmers because they mount in the wall switch box, these simple manual control devices are available in different types as well as appearances to match other switches in the same room.

    Four examples of dimmers:

    • Integrated: Integrated dimming systems are very versatile. They can be used to create multiple lighting presets for one room. Then, a button on the wall or a wireless control is used to select the settings.

    • Touch: Touch dimmers also allow changes in lighting with just one button. Some have one-touch recall to switch back to a prior level of light. Some touch dimmers use a lighted indicator to show the current setting.

    • Slide: Slide dimmers provide manual control of your lighting. Some slide dimmers also have a button to easily switch back to the prior setting.

    • Rotary: Rotary dimmers are also manual, and they operate on a dial. Many also have push-button control that allows you to turn off the light and retain the current setting. When most homeowners think light dimmer, the think rotary dimmer. 

    Scene controls

    Some sophisticated programmable control systems let the homeowner switch and dim groups of lights to a preset configurations to create a scenes at the touch of a button.  These systems are more expensive than manual dimmers and switches but offer greater flexibility.

    Save Energy & Money

    Dimmer switches and other control systems save energy. For example dimming a halogen bulb by 20% saves about 18% of the energy necessary to operate it. Dimmers extend the lives of light bulbs. A dimmer can extend the life of a halogen light bulb with a normal life of 5-6 months for up to 3 or 4 years. Dimming fluorescent fixtures provide electricity savings and the convenience of controlling light levels.

    Add Ambience in an Instant

    In addition to saving money, dimmer switches will easily add ambience to any room in your house. Many dimmer switches can be programmed to change at certain times or switched easily via touch screens and wireless controls. Dimmer switches have advanced greatly from the typical rotary style dimmers that exist in older homes.

    Help Fall Asleep

    And who doesn’t like a good night’s sleep? Dimmer switches in the bedroom help a homeowner relax and unwind between a busy day’s activities and nodding off to sleep. Evidence from some studies say lowering the lights one hour before bedtime will help a homeowner fall asleep. The variety of dimmer switches lets a homeowner lower the lights manually or program them to lower at a specific time each night. This helps set a regular nightly sleep schedule and trains a body to fall asleep at the same time every night.

    Big deal? In addition to making a home more livable, the little details like dimmer switches show a homebuyer that a homeowner cared about their home, took care of their home, and helps a homebuyer imagine living in the nicely finished space.

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