New Home Project: Dimmers

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:

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
10% 10%
25% 20%
50% 40%
75% 60%

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!

Maestro Dimmer
Maestro 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.  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.

BEFORE / AFTER Maestro Dimmers

4-Gang Wall Box with Light Switches

4-Gang Wall Box with Maestro Dimmers
After | 2 Maestro dimmers | 1 Maestro Switch | 1 Maestro Fan and Light Control

3-Gang Wall Box with Light Switches

3-Gang Wall Box with Maestro Dimmers
After | 1 Maestro Fan and Light Control | 1 Maestro Dimmer | 1 Maestro Switch

2-Gang Wall Box with Light Switches

2-Gang Wall Box with Maestro Dimmers
After | 1 Maestro Fan and Light Control | 1 Maestro Switch

Chris Johnson

I am the President & CEO of Pegasus Lighting. Beyond my day job, my professional interests include small business, technology, web design and development, operations, marketing, and social media. My personal interests include spending time with my two children and wonderful wife, reading presidential history and business books, and striving for my work | life balance.

4 thoughts to “New Home Project: Dimmers”

  1. Chris,
    I recently bought a home with hard-wired under-cabinet light fixtures. I need T4 fluorescent bulbs 10.25″ in length. Do you carry them? If not, can you direct me to a site that does?
    Thanks for any help you may provide.

  2. What is the wattage for the T4 lamps that you need? If you pull the lamp out of the fixture do you see a brand and/or letters and numbers on the lamp itself? If you do what are they?

  3. 6 watt or 8 watt should be fine. There are no numbers on the bulbs I now have.

  4. Unfortunately the 6-watt T4 lamp we offer is 9 inches long and the 8-watt is 13-1/8 inches long. I am sorry but I don’t know where you could get a 10-1/4 in long T4 lamp. You might have a lamp specific to the fixture? What is the brand of the under cabinet fixture?

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