About dimmer switchesMany people are afraid of dimmer switches because they heard that they get very hot and can become a fire hazard. It is true that these switches could get hot in the past, but not today. Not only that new models are very safe, but they come in many shapes and sizes.
There is a simple explanation why older dimmers switches used to get hot. They were actually rheostats that varied the amount of voltage that was going to the bulbs. If they were turned down, little voltage was necessary and thus the extra electricity was turned into heat. Those switches were a waste of energy.
Modern switches use electronic parts to dim the lights. It’s a highly efficient method of lighting, as 90% of the electricity is used by the bulb. If the switch gets a little hot, it’s just because it’s an electronic component and electricity runs through it. Some clever devices redirect the heat to some metal plates and then to the room. Even if you will feel more heat, the electricity wires are protected.
You won’t need any special wiring to install dimmer switches. As long as you have a toggle switch in place, you can just replace it with a dimmer one.
You need to know that dimmer switches can only handle a specific amount of light load. This means that if the load is outbalanced, than the switch can suffer damage. Most of them have a load of 600 to 1000 watts. You can determine this by summing the amount of watts on each bulb the switch is operating.
You can buy switches with tap-on or tap-off capabilities. This means you can clap your hands and the lights will come on or off. Some of them can be controlled by a remote control.
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