How Dimmers Save Energy

Do dimmers really save on energy use?

The key to answering this question is understanding how dimmers really work.

Many consumers and even a few electricians think that dimmers work by converting unused electricity to heat at the dimmer switch.

It’s true that many old rotary dimmers worked this way. They were rheostats that took the excess energy when dimmed and converted it to heat.

Today’s dimmers use a “Triac Switch”. When dimmed, these switches cut the flow of power to a light fixture up to 120 times a second.

While the circuit is switched on and off many times a second, the human eye and brain don’t register this flickering. What we see is a constant light output.

So, does dimming lights save energy? And, does dimming lights save electricity?

Yes, dimmers do save. 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!

More Dimmers Ideas and Advice:

A Quick Guide to Using Dimmers

Smart Home Wireless Remote Control Dimmers and Apps

Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans

Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting

How to Buy LED Lighting