FYI - Lutron 'eco-dim'

shadow700January 25, 2011

A few years ago, we standardized on Lutron "Diva" dimmers for locations where we replaced or added switches.

It's been a while since we had to do so, but now that we are adding some new recessed lights, I took a look at what Lutron is offering.

Their new line has a "feature" called "eco-dim", which seems to add about $5 to the cost of the switches. They claim a minimum energy savings of 15%.

I dug a little deeper to figure out what miracle invention could claim such high savings and was somewhat disturbed to find the answer.

The power range for a standard "Diva" dimmer is about 10% to 100%.

The power range for an "eco-dim" dimmmer is about 10% to 85%.

Yes, the amazing invention that adds about 20-25% to the cost of the dimmer is they limit the maximum output to 85%. This, in turn, lowers the energy usage by 15% at a cost of never having your lights at full brightness. The same effect could be had by using their non-"eco-dim" dimmer and not pushing the slider all the way to the top.

Just thought I would pass this information on to hopefully save someone from paying more for one of these dimmers and wondering why their lights aren't as brights as they used to be.

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That's a really dumb idea, IMO. Incandescent lights are less efficient when operated on reduced voltage. So when you install one of these dimmers and find that your lights aren't bright enough, what do you do? You put in bigger bulbs. You end up using MORE electricity, not less.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 3:38PM
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