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Dimmers…Everything Old is New Again

Rarely do we need all the light our fixtures are capable of providing. A dimmer enables you to adjust lighting for a specific time of day, to perform a task or activity, or even to set the mood for a special dinner or event.

But the greatest benefit of dimmer switches is the energy savings. Lighting accounts for 20% of the average homeowner’s monthly electric bill; and a dimmer switch alone can save 4-9% in energy savings when compared to your standard toggle light switch.

Dimmers also:

  • Extend bulb life
  • Come in a variety of styles and colors
  • May entitle you to rebates or incentives (when used as part of a lighting control solution)

The dimmers used in most homes today were invented by Joel Spira in New York City. In 1959, Spira patented his invention, then started Lutron Electronics in 1961. Although Spira didn’t invent the concept of dimming lights, he was the first to introduce dimmers into homes for residential use. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 88 and will always remembered for bringing dimmers into our homes.

Lutron’s first residential dimmer switch was the Capri. It was marketed towards women who wanted to create ambiance lighting in the home. It was a rotary dial switch that could be turned to brighten or dim a room’s lighting. This retro ad from the NPR archives demonstrates the power of the Capri to “dial romance” in practically any room of the house.

Today’s dimmers come in many different forms and are often controlled by rotating a dial, sliding a switch, and sometimes also by a remote control device, smartphone, computer or a voice-activated digital assistant. (e.g. Alexa or Siri).

The Lutron Dalia is the newest entry into the market. It’s a rotary dial for use with dimmable LED, halogen, incandescent, and CFL bulbs, and it has a SoftGlow locator light to help you find it in the dark.

Look familiar? It’s true what they say, “Everything old is new again!”

For More Information:

To see Homeowners Resources including: dimming basics, dimming CFLs and LEDs, quick and easy troubleshooting, and how to install a dimmer: https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Education-Training/Pages/LCE/DimmingCFLsandLED.aspx

To see all Lutron LED+ Dimmers: https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/StandAloneControls/leddimmers/overview.aspx

For a Lutron Dalia Specification sheet: https://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocumentLibrary/3691145_ENG.pdf

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