We've blogged about this topic before (see How Dimmers Save Energy), but we're asked about it all the time:

Does using a dimmer really save energy? The short answer is, yes!

Here's how: A modern dimmer uses what is called a "Triac Switch".

Depending on the dimmer settting, these switches turn on and off many times a second.

Unlike old wall and line dimmers, the unneeded electrical current is not dissipated as heat, it's simply not used at all because the switch is not on.

The human eye doesn't register this on-off process; what we see is a steady light output.

How much can installing a dimmer save you? Dimming a light by half can trim electric use by 40 percent over time.

And, as a side bonus, your incandescent and halogen bulbs can last up to 20 times longer. So it really does pay to dim!

Image thanks to Lutron Dimmers.