Do Dimmer Switches Save Homeowners’ Money?

Light dimmers have been around since 1959 and over the last six decades, their energy efficiency has improved dramatically. The first dimmer worked by decreasing a light’s brightness by feeding less electricity into the bulb and converting the remaining energy into heat. While this got the job done dimming the lights, it was also a risky and inefficient method that didn’t actually save energy. Now, light dimmers save energy by reducing the electrical flow to the bulb and allowing the bulbs to operate at a lower power output.

An added benefit, since modern dimmers reduce bulbs brightness, they are known to extend the life span of your bulbs. If you believe that adding dimmers to your home is the answer for energy savings, make sure you have the correct lightbulbs to go with it. Halogen lights use 20% less energy when dimmed. However, the more you dim them, the less efficient they will be.

CFL lights consume less energy than halogen bulbs and retain their efficiency when used with dimmers. When investing in a dimmer switch, it’s vital to ensure that your CFL bulbs are dimmer compatible. Using non-dimmable CFLs could cause a fire! LED lights are extremely efficient, so investing in a dimmer can maximize energy savings. As with CFL lightbulbs, it’s important to choose LED lights that have been designed for dimmer use. Happy dimming!