Problems with Older Dimmers
When your existing home has dimmers already installed, you may find that they do not work with particular light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent or other energy saving bulbs. Older dimmers are not compatible with the newer lamp styles. If you install a new light bulb and you find that the dimmer switch is not functioning properly, the problem is the light bulb. You will either have to switch back to the older style light bulb or install new dimmer switches to be able to use the newer bulbs for mood lighting.
The reason that newer bulbs do not work with older dimmer switches is due to the current of electricity used. In an older switch, the full current is used to illuminate the bulb for maximum brightness. When the current is reduced, the light is less bright. An incandescent light bulb has the ability to operate on zero percent current or up to 100% current. With a LED or CFL light bulb, the bulb requires a full current to function. This eliminates the ability for the newer bulbs to be able to dim.
Types of Dimmer Switches
There are several types of dimmer switches on the market today that can be installed in the home to provide adequate mood lighting. Choosing the right dimmer switch will allow you to use different types of light bulbs in the home as well as achieve your lighting style.
An inductive dimmer switch is an option for a light source that has wire wound parts like a transformer. This type of switch is not a common choice for residential areas and more for office spaces. A resistive dimmer switch is an option that is commonly used with bulbs that contain filaments. This switch type is easy to install but not an energy efficient option.
A fluorescent dimmer switch is an energy saving solution for lighting and requires a 1- to the 10-volt ballast to function. Smooth dimming control is achieved with this option. Dimmer switches are also available for LED lighting. This switch type works by reducing the electricity that is provided to the light bulb.
Overall, you have many options for dimming the lights in the home. Existing systems should be evaluated and possibly new options reinstalled based on the bulb type you wish to use. Consult with an electrician to find out your options when it comes to installing new dimming switches or reinstalling where an existing switch is not functioning with the light bulb type of your choice. Once the project is complete, you will have a quality way in which to dim the lights in the home.