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Do dimmers really save energy? Yes they sure do - however I personally love the way dimmed light shaves years off my appearance! Today's dimmers use a "Triac Switch" which when dimmed, cut the flow of power to a light fixture up to 120 times a second.
Dimming your lights an average of 50 percent can cut your electric use a whopping 40 percent over time and make your bulbs last 20 times longer. From an aesthetic point of view, dimmer light creates a more relaxed and often romantic feel to the look and feel of a room whether achieved through accent table lamps, sconces or recessed lights.
Adjusting the current to one-half its normal value reduces the light energy output to one-fourth. Since the rheostat (an electrical instrument used to control a current by varying the resistance) also uses this amount of energy, the circuit saves half the energy in producing one-fourth of the light output.
Pretty cool, right? Although as a designer and not an electrician, I love the way dimmed light softens intimate spaces like niches, bedsides or shelves. Of course when it come to tasks such as reading, having a rheostat makes increasing the light source a breeze.
Full range dimmers can be found in contemporary lighting from floor lamps and swing arms to desk lights and lamps. And now that you know dimmers really save energy (and enhance your appearance in the process!) there's no reason not to install them and feature your home in its best possible light.
Shopping guide: Robert Abbey Porter Polished Nickel Floor Lamp, Artemis Clear Lead Crystal Table Lamp with Off-White Shade, Holtkoetter Bernie Chrome Swing Arm Wall Lamp, Holtkoetter Satin Nickel True White Glass Shade Desk Lamp
Photos: My Notting Hill.
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.
I've always loved dimmers for adjusting the right amount of light - I never thought about saving energy too. Thanks for the info!