News & Blog

Rules for Lighting Your Home: Use Dimmer Switches

News & Blog

Why Does Dimmed Lighting Feel Better?

During daylight hours we’re accustomed to varying degrees of natural light and dimmers help mimic this variation in our homes. Typically when the sun first sets in the evenings, you’ll want a lot of light because your eyes are still adjusting to the bright light of the sun from the day. As the evening progresses, dimmed lighting helps to create a calm mood and prepares our minds for sleep.

It’s often suggested that the bright lights of modern society, including from our digital devices, contribute to insomnia because artificial daylight confuses our biological clocks. (In fact, there are now features and apps that can dim mobile phones and laptops according to the time of day.)

Using dimmers on your lighting fixtures gives you the ability to adjust the light in each room to your comfort level and in a way that matches our natural human circadian rhythms.

Dimmers: Pay More to Save Later

Dimmers not only set a nice mood and let you have the greatest control with your lighting, they also save energy. When a light is dimmed it uses less wattage. The cost of purchasing a dimmer switch compared to a regular switch is significant, at an average of 10x more in cost. But keep in mind that dimming saves energy in the long run and can reduce your lighting costs. Surprisingly, a dimmer switch saves electricity even when it is all the way on, and reduces energy costs at the rate of the dimming. For example, at 70% dimmed the savings is equal to 70% off your normal bill.

We like Lutron’s Diva or Maestro line of dimmer switches ($30-$70 per switch). A regular Lutron switch we like is called the Claro ($5 per switch). In case you’re shopping, Claro is also the name of the line for the standard backplates which are used even when you upgrade to Diva or Maestro for the switch.

Dimmers Allow You to Set The Mood

While many people rely on candles to create mood lighting for special occasions, dimmer switches allow us to instantly create appropriate mood lighting for whatever mood you’re feeling, any day of the week. Dimming enhances your quality of life and helps save the environment. In the featured image, top SF Lighting Designer Architecture & Light show how it’s done by creating an amazing mood with layers of light sources and having everything on dimmers.

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