How to Select the Right Dimmer?

Any credible interior designer will tell you that lighting design is more than just flipping a switch. Great lighting can not only change the look and feel of a room but can alter your mood. Choosing how to light a room is just as important as finding the right fixture.

A dimmer switch provides the ultimate control over your lighting needs by regulating the output of lumens in your bulbs. Turn the dial up to give your room a bright ambiance, dial it down for even daylight glow, or set it to low for a movie theater night experience. Not only does a dimmer offer you more control over your light, it can also lead to lower energy costs in your home.

Now that you have the schematics of your switches down it is time to choose a dimmer style. Each style has its own advantages that make them suitable for various applications.

Rotary This dimmer features a rotating dial that can adjust the light levels one degree at a time
Slide A vertical slider that lets you better visualize your optimal lighting level
Toggle Similar to a slide dimmer, this also includes a dedicated on/off switch to power your lights without dimming

A mismatched dimmer can shorten the lifespan of your light bulbs or short circuit a fixture. If you are unsure if your dimmer will be compatible, please consult with an electrician.

Below are some points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that the rated value of your dimmer is larger than the wattage of all your bulbs together
  • If you have one light switch controlling a single fixture Single pole dimmer
  • If you have multiple light switches that control a single fixture 3 or 4 way control dimmer or multi-location
    • 3 or 4 way dimmers are ideal for 1 dimmer set up with multiple switches
    • Multi-location dimmers give you multiple dimming control points
  • Portable lights, such as desk lamps Plug in dimmer