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Lighting dimmers make it possible to adjust a room’s lighting to suit the purpose. Dimmers provide a number of benefits including improving profitability by lowering energy costs, extending the useful life of existing lighting sources, saving resources, and optimizing user comfort levels. Learning about the types available is the first step in taking action and gaining needed confidence about this green living technology.

Single pole

A single pole lighting dimmer is used for locations where one light is operated from one location. Picture one overhead light in a meeting room. Next to the room’s entrance is a dimmer switch within arm’s length. That toggle switch is used to turn the light source on or off. That single lighting operation source is technically termed a single pole dimmer type. This type is an ideal way for a company to get involved with the LED world of lighting. Users can gain a first-hand experience about the benefits of LED lighting, for instance, when a firm installs a unit in a single test room.

Three Way

This type of lighting dimmer is designed for multi-user purposes. A single lighting source is controlled by one dimmer. The lighting fixture is also operated by one or more switches in other locations. This dimmer type is perfect for those rooms where a person on the opposite side of the room is expected to dim the lights during a presentation by another employee.

Four Way

Similar to a three-way lighting dimmer, this type also involves multi-user capabilities. A single light fixture can be operated by using one dimmer and multiple switches throughout one location.

Plug Ins

Plug in dimmers are device types that are directly connected to a tabletop, floor lamp, or desk top lighting source. These types of lighting dimmers are ideal for optimizing lighting in waiting rooms, lobby areas, individual work stations, and other similar locations. Dimmer controls are directly connected to wall outlets. Devices can be operated from the outlet, or be operated through a connecting cord placed on the appropriate tabletop or desk. Having a dimmer control within arm’s reach improves ergonomics and enhances worker safety.

Multiple locations

If a firm is in need of having one light fixture operated from four or more locations, the multi-location lighting dimmer type will fill the need. This type is ideal for those large meeting rooms, conference center rooms, or other similar venues that will hold events where many people are expected to show up. Operators can be sitting in each corner of the venue and have full dimming power as needed throughout the event. A perfect example of an event that is appropriate for this dimming type involves the annual board of directors meetings.

Depends on lighting source

Different dimmer types are required for different load types. Using a dimmer that is tested, UL-listed, and designed to work with the characteristics of a specific lighting source is needed. Lighting sources include incandescent and halogen, fluorescent, electronic or magnetic low voltage, neon and cold cathode, or LED varieties.

Determining which type of lighting dimmer best suits a company’s needs can be confusing. Working with a trained lighting professional can provide the guidance needed to succeed in this area.