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dimmer vs normal switch

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  • dimmer vs normal switch

    Hello everybody,

    I have a dimmer swtich which stopped work for me two days ago. i am try to replace it.

    My wife wants to replace it with a normal switch because she plans to replace the bulb with an energy save bulb. My question is does the dimmer can also save some electricity when we put the dimmer in lower position?

    I pulled off the dimmer from the wall (see pictures please) and was confused the wiring. First, there are only two wires. Second, those two wires are the same (black wire). Are they correct? if I replace it with a single normal switch, which has three poles, can I just put those two black wires into the poles and left the ground empty? is it safe that way?

    thanks
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: dimmer vs normal switch

    you have a single pole dimmer with 2 black wires. Get a single pole on/off switch which has 2 screw terminals and put the 2 black wires, one on each screw of the switch. You can ground the switch if you want or if the box is metal it will ground through the holding screws. Thats all simple.

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    • #3
      Re: dimmer vs normal switch

      Yes by setting a dimmer just a shade under full brightness is already a large power savings. I have dimmers all around my house, I always keep them under full brightness and our power bills are considerably less than any of our friends around us.

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Re: dimmer vs normal switch

        Don't use a dimmer on a CFL bulb or you will kill it - your wife is correct. Get yourself some nice full spectrum CFL lights and you'll save a ton of money and get better lights. LED bulbs are even better, but still kinda pricey. I love Verilux bulbs and lamps - been using them for years. Their lamps are generally three way, will 150 watt equivalent only burning 26 watts. The light is full spectrum, not that yellow incandescent crap.

        http://www.verilux.com/

        Get rid of the dimmers, save some money and the planet
        I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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        • #5
          Re: dimmer vs normal switch

          Running the dimmer just slightly under max will not only save power but also extend the bulb life considerably. If you are going to run CFL bulbs you will have to get rid of the dimmer though. It will not work with them and eventually the bulb will be damaged. CFL bulbs will also ruin most dimmers eventually leaving to work as an on/off only. There are some dimmable CFL bulbs out there but I've never tried them and don't know how good they are. They seem to be fairly hard to get.

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          • #6
            Re: dimmer vs normal switch

            Is this in an area where you want to very the lighting level? If not, then changing to a basic switch (On-off and not a 3-Way) is the right thing to do and then look into CFL replacements. Depending on the colors of the room, you might look at 3000K if you want warm light, 3500K if you want neutral and 4100K if you want a crisp and somewhat cool light color. Maybe try a sample of several types and see what you like. Regular incandescent lamps (light bulbs) on a dimmer set lower than full on put out very reddish light.

            What effects regarding lighting are you looking for? If you want good bright lighting and efficiency that's one thing, but if you want mood lighting for say a dining room that's totally different.

            Your dimmer and a basic switch will have two power connections and may have a grounding screw. Switches or dimmers with 3 power connections are what's called "3-Way" and are for use when you have another switch on the same circuit. While such can be used if connected properly, do yourself a favor and just get the simple basic type.

            We need more info about the room and what kind(s) of lighting you would like in it.
            Last edited by Woussko; 01-27-2008, 08:00 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: dimmer vs normal switch

              thank you guys.

              that is a switch in the bathroom. we have a mirror wall in the bathroom, so it will be ok to change to a smaller bulb.

              I bought a on/off switch (see picture please). What I need to do is connect one black wire in one pole and another black wire in second pole and leave the ground pole (the blue one?) open? Am I right?

              Usually we have a black, white and ground wires, but here I only have two black wires. That is why I am confused and keep ask you guys to make sure I am going to do a right thing.

              Thanks
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: dimmer vs normal switch

                Yes just put one black wire under each of the terminals, doesn't matter which. If you have a ground wire in the box, you can ground the switch, but technically the switch will be grounded through the screws holding the switch to the box.

                Jeff

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