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Dimmer Switches Vs Smart Dimmer Switches
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What kind of person are you? Do you even know the difference from a dimmer switch and a light switch? Or do you even care?LOL You are thinking as long as the "stupid thing" comes on!lol. Or maybe just maybe you are a techie like me? 1080, 1080i, 1080p, lcd, plasma, led? Man i get "geeked" just walking thru the electronics section @ Costco, best buy.....sorry zoned out for a minute there lol. Todays discussion is about dimmers and what works for you here we go. Did you know that dimming your lights just 10 % can double the life of your bulbs?

What is a dimmer switch?

Well we are not gonna do the "wiki definition" because even as master electrician i don't know what they are talking about lol. Basically dimmers are used to vary the intensity to a given light or lights by varying the voltage output to a given light or lights means a more or less intense output and brighter bulb or a dim bulb. How was that? i hope we are all on the same page still lol. But these dimmers you buy at Home Depot and Lowes work well but the are indepentdantly controlled, with the exception of one lutron smart dimmer package approx $50 (US). So the next time you walk in that room and dim those lights I need you to appreciate all the work that went into that little dimmer switch.

What is a "smart dimmer switch"?

Just so you know i am not about to tell you your present dimmers are "stupid" lol. But imagine having dimmers in your home that control a light or all the lights throughout your house with the touch of a button, or based on the time of day control all your outside lights(no more timers), how about depending on the occupancy of a room your lights automatically dim or brighten. Imagine having a nice wine and cheese party for some of your closet friends only to pull out your Iphone and dim the lights in your whole house or condo, some lights 75, 65, 50,15 % with the touch of one button. Sounds sexy huh? Well it is, and that is why they call it a "smart dimmer switch".

What products should i choose?

Several things you need to consider with deciding what kind of dimmer to buy:

  • Price, truthfully speaking most quality dimmers are will cost you $20-$30(US), You can find an affordable smart dimmer between $30-$50(US)
  • Type, i tell clients all the time buy your lighting 1st because i need to know what type of dimmers to buy the dimmers have to match the lights, incandescent, halogen, magnetic low voltage, electronic low voltage, flourescent(don't recommend it they have dimmers for them but i don't like the quality on the residential market when this article is written)each of these lighting types have their own pros and cons.
  • Lifestyle, if you have house full of small kids who love chocolate and ice cream this might not be for you lol. But if you love to entertain and enjoy some nice electronic toys i say go ALL out! And if your somewhere in the middle i say go middle of the road somewhere.

What i have learned in life is once you have lived with some toys you always want them, in fact it feels weird to NOT have them, for my HDTV people out there have you left the comforts of your home with your 55" Samsung 1080p led and headed over to grandpa's house and tried to watch the ballgame on that 1995 floor model that seemed so cool back in the day to leave with a massive "headache", my point exactly! So you choose on your dimming situation, but don't say you didn't hear it first, until next time.


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