This is the fourth blog post of my New Home Project post series. This series of posts details the lighting projects that I have undertaken in my new home. I had high hopes for these posts. One of them was that I would write a post shortly after I actually did the project. Throw that goal out of the window. I moved into my new home in September 2009. I guess better late than never…right?
First, a recap of my other projects:
- Under Cabinet Lighting (using Xenon under cabinet task lights)
- Pantry and Closet Lighting (using Microfluorescent T4 fixtures)
- Over Cabinet Lighting (also using Microfluorescent T4 fixures)
Now, on to my dimmer project (pics below).
I LOVE DIMMERS! They are an easy way to “go green.” Dimming a traditional incandescent bulb or a halogen lamp by 25 percent will save you 20 percent on the cost of electricity. Check out the table below:
|Percentage Dimmed||Energy Savings|
That’s real savings and real money. Not only do you save energy with dimmers, but you extend the life of your bulb (lamp), which in turn reduces landfill waste, and you can change the light levels of your room depending upon how the space is currently being used. Finally, they are relatively easy to install. A Phillips and a flat head screwdriver (or, as my wife calls them – a plus and a minus), wire cutters, wire nuts, and a little time is all you need. Just make sure to turn off the power at the location you are replacing your current switch with a dimmer!
For my house, I chose Lutron Maestro dimmers. I like the clean look of the Maestro, the tap on/off, the “soft glow” LED lights that help me find the dimmer in a darkened room, and the fact that I can preset my desired dimming level. In addition, Maestros let you set the time for a delayed fade on or off of the light being dimmed. For example, you can have the light fade off over a 15-second period allowing you to safely leave a room…very cool.
In addition to the Maestro dimmer, I also added switches and ceiling fan controls from the Maestro family to create a coordinated look for all of the light and fan switches throughout my house. To view the entire family of Maestro dimmers, controls and switches visit the Lutron website.
If you are using a dimmer with a low voltage light fixture (12 or 24 volts), use either a magnetic low voltage dimmer or an electronic low voltage dimmer depending upon the transformer being used. Also, before buying your dimmer calculate the total wattage that the dimmer will control and buy a dimmer with the necessary maximum wattage. Finally, if the dimmer is being installed in a wall box with other switches or dimmers, like a 3-gang wall box, then you will need to de-rate the dimmer’s maximum wattage slightly.
Are you tackling any lighting projects? Let us know and share your pictures with us. You can post your lighting project info and pics to the Pegasus Lighting Facebook page or in the Share Your Lighting Project section of the Pegasus Lighting Forum. When possible we also try to post pics of our customer’s lighting projects to our Design Center page. Make sure to check it out and take a look at some of our customer’s projects.
If you have any questions about dimmers, comment below. We would really enjoy hearing from you and helping however we can.