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The ABCs of Electrical – Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches are designed to provide greater control over the lighting in your home. They come in many different styles, including:

Rotary – The classic dimmer style, with a rotating knob to control lighting levels.

Slide – A slide control dimmer slides from the off position at the bottom to the brightest setting at the top position.

Toggle – A toggle dimmer is a traditional toggle light switch with a small sliding dimmer on the side. When you use the toggle switch, the light level will automatically return to the preset level.

Rocker – Works the same as a traditional toggle switch, but with a more modern looking rocker switch.

Tap – A touch-sensitive button that returns light to a preset level. Tap dimmers often include LEDs to display the current light level.

Dimmer switches should have a wattage rating that equals or exceeds the total wattage of all the light bulbs the dimmer switch will control. For example, if the dimmer controls a fixture with 5 75-watt bulbs, you need a dimmer rated for 375 watts or higher.

Dimmer switches come in different styles designed to work with 4 categories of bulbs, they include:

• Incandescent and halogen bulbs
• Dimmable compact fluorescent light bulbs
• Magnetic Low Frequency (MLV)
• Electronic Low Frequency (ELV)

Have electrical questions? Call ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric.

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