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FAQs: Choosing the right Dimmer for your many lighting needs

Today, most businesses and individuals use dimmers, so that they can dim the lights that they have installed in their homes or offices. This results in convenient lighting, as well as energy conservation. However, it is important that you choose the right dimmer depending on the lights that you have installed.

A wide variety of lighting sources exist on the market. These sources have individual characteristics which require special types of dimmers. It is important to use a dimmer that is designed, tested, and listed by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), for your specific lighting source.

The following are the different types of lights, for which dimmers can be used: 

Incandescent lights: An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light which produces light with a wire filament heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it, until it glows. These include Line-voltage tungsten filament lamps, including halogen lamps.

Magnetic Low Voltage (MLV) lights: Low-voltage lighting uses a transformer to reduce a 120VAC line voltage to 12VAC or 24VAC. This lower voltage is then used to power an incandescent low-voltage lamp. These include Magnetic (core and coil, and toroidal) transformer-supplied low voltage lighting.

Electronic Low Voltage (ELV) lights: Extra-low voltage (ELV) lighting is commonly used in domestic and commercial installations, particularly in the form of recessed downlighter luminaires. These include Electronic (solid-state) transformer-supplied low voltage lighting.

Neon/Cold Cathode lights: Cold-cathode lamps include cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) and neon lamps. Neon lamps primarily rely on excitation of gas molecules to emit light; CCFLs use a discharge in mercury vapor to develop ultraviolet light, which in turn causes a fluorescent coating on the inside of the lamp to emit visible light.

Fluorescent lights: A fluorescent lamp or a fluorescent tube is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb to glow.

dimmer for your lighting

There are three different types of dimmers. These are: 

1. Single-Pole Dimmers: Single-pole dimmers provide control from one location.

2. Three-way Dimmers with Switches: Three-way dimmers adjust the light level from one location. When used with 3-way and 4-way switches, the lights can be turned on to the dimmer level or off from many locations.

3. Multi-Location Dimmers: Multi-location dimmers can be used with accessory dimmers (Smart Remotes) for full control of the lights from up to 10 locations.

So, now you know more about choosing the right dimmer for your lighting. Do ensure that you dim the lights that you are not using, not just for convenience, but also for consistent energy conservation. Here’s to a safe, happy, and environmentally-friendly lighting experience!

For more information on how to choose the right dimmer for your lighting source, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at You can also read more about Dimmers.

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