Can You Save Energy With Dimmer Switches?

By on August 23, 2013

It is no secret that saving energy is good for the planet as it is good for your wallet. Among a number of ways to save energy at home, dimmer switches, or simply dimmers, is one of the more interesting options to consider. It is also a choice that sometimes causes confusion in that not everybody knows how it works exactly and whether it actually saves energy. Well, be confused no more: here is all the information you need to know about dimmer switches and how you can make your home lighting more efficient.

How does a Dimmer Switch Work?

What a dimmer switch does is allows you to vary the brightness of the light in the room. Essentially, by regulating the brightness you increase or decrease the root mean square (RMS) voltage, that is, the mean power of the lamp. In other words, you control how much AC current goes to your light. Dimmer switches work for halogen, resistive incandescent, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) as well as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). To sum up, dimmers can be installed in any house since they work with different kinds of lights.

Can You Save Energy With Dimmer Switches?
Home Light Switches – Image:

How Green are Dimmers?

Since a dimmer switch cuts a part of the current that reaches your light, it is a way to reduce energy consumption. That is, in theory, decreased electricity flow is indeed less energy. At the same time, you should check whether your energy meter actually measures the reduction in power consumption that a dimmer produces. Some meter simply cannot record that. This can be seen as the major problem and the factor causing the debates about the greenness of such type of a light switch. Otherwise, dimmers are indeed saving you energy and, naturally, money.

Other ways to make you Lighting Greener

In addition to dimmer switches, there are other ways to save on energy bills. For example, change your incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or LED lighting. Although a CFL or LED light might cost slightly more, it is definitely worth it. In comparison to a regular incandescent bulb, a CFL lasts up to around 10 times more than a regular incandescent bulb (compare for yourself: 1,000 hours vs. 10,000 hours) and uses 75 per cent less energy. For instance, a 13-watt CFL gives as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. As for LED lights they can last up to 25 times longer than regular lighting. Also, consider installing door jamb switches in your closet or other spaces where light may be left switched on without noticing it. This technique can save you money in the long run as long as, naturally, you do not forget to close the door.

A bright House and a Wallet that is not Empty

Changing the bulbs and installing several devices, including a dimmer switch and LED bulbs, can make a difference in your energy consumption and your energy bills. The ways to light your house described are not that difficult to actually follow and do not require much effort at all. Therefore, make smart choices, help the planet, and keep your wallet happy at the same time.

About KateSimmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger. If her article got you interested, feel free to follow or reach out to her via G+ or Twitter.