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Dimmer switches

Posted by matildajane (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 13, 12 at 13:45

It's been suggested that I update my dimmer switch now that I have an updated ceiling light. My current dimmer (mid-80's house) is a large round rotating dial with no specific on/off. Is there a preferred brand/style? To be honest, I never gave thought to replacing my dimmer switch, but my Chief Decor Critic has implied that its shamefully archaic.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dimmer switches

Take a look at Lutron's dimmers. They have a wide range of styles and generally perform better than Leviton.

Here is a link that might be useful: lutron dimmers


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RE: Dimmer switches

I've never seen a dimmer with no "off." Mine which rotates like yours has a push on/off function. Have you tried that on yours?


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RE: Dimmer switches

Thanks, davidtay. I'll direct my attention to Lutron. Attofarad, here's a schematic of my current dimmer. If the dial is turned fully counterclockwise, the light will be turned off but newer dimmer switches have a separate on/off switch. Am I microfocusing here? Perhaps anything is better than what I have.


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RE: Dimmer switches

"If the dial is turned fully counterclockwise, the light will be turned off but newer dimmer switches have a separate on/off switch. "

Every plain round knob switch like you illustrate has either a push on push off or rotating stop with a barely detectable 'click' position for off (counterclockwise by convention).


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RE: Dimmer switches

Yes, brickeyee. My plain round knob switch has a barely detectable click position (when rotated counterclockwise) indicating that the light has been turned off. Regardless, my family decor critic is horrified by my outdated dimmer switch. Maybe I'm being snookered here, but I've fallen into the trap that the switch needs to be updated. Big box stores have a wide range of dimmer switches. Is there a preferred style/type?


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RE: Dimmer switches

Lutron Maestro dimmers are sexy.

Tap to turn on to last selected level. Tap to turn off. Tap twice to turn on full bright. Little green LEDs to show level. Separate small rocker to set level of dimming. Get the version with an IR remote and control it from across the room (don't tell the decor critic, just do it surreptitiously).


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RE: Dimmer switches

Thanks so much, Attofarad. The sexy new dimmer that you suggested is guaranteed to knock the socks off of the self-appointed decor specialist who visits my home every so often. Let's hope I don't lose the remote control, as happens with the TV. (Smiles!)


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RE: Dimmer switches

Besides the round knobs, there are now linear sliders, toggles with a very tiny slider beside them, and even touch dimmers (if you look hard).

I usually use the toggle & slider ones now.

The toggle is fractionally narrower than a plain toggle switch to make room in a standard switch plate for the slider.


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RE: Dimmer switches

Watch out for some of the newer electronic type switch systems, they may not work with your wiring.

A lot of old work has 'switch loops' and no neutral in the switch box.


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RE: Dimmer switches

Very useful information, Brickeyee! Electricity is a little bit like an octapus, isn't it? One little wish branches into a mass of possibilities and potential pitfalls.


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