Clipsal Dimmer Switches
There is nothing like enjoying ambient lighting in your home; and the ability to adjust the light level to the conditions is one of the things that helps make a house a home. Clipsal has been putting switches in Australian homes for the best part of a century, and dimmer switches are no exception. Clipsal switches draw on the heritage of Australia's first homegrown electrical switch, and now can be found everywhere.
Uses of Dimmer Switches
The most important aspect of dimmer switches is that they give you control of your environment. You can use them to control your energy usage, or to set the mood for an evening. Many people want to be able to see their food when they are eating, but are quite content to watch a film at much lower light levels. Dimmers may not be something you use every day, but they are very nice to have when you want them. There's something to be said for setting the perfect light level with a simple push button.
Types of Dimmer Switches
There are two primary kinds of dimmer switches: leading edge and trailing edge. The older leading edge switches reduce the voltage on the leading edge of the sine wave, they most commonly go with incandescent and some fluorescent bulbs. The later trailing edge switches reduce power on the trailing edge of the sine wave and are most commonly used with LED lights. In some cases you can use trailing edge dimmer switches with older bulbs, but not leading edge switches with LEDs.
LED Dimmer Switches
When installing LED dimmer switches it's very important to watch the wattage. LED lights draw much lower voltage than conventional lights and you have to account for this this when connecting them to the switch. All switches have a wattage range they support, usually based on incandescent bulbs. A theoretical 100-Watt dimmer would need a minimum of 10 Watts and support a maximum of 100 Watts. In order to use LED bulbs you have to calculate the actual draw for the minimum and multiply by ten for the maximum. Thus you could not use a 60-Watt equivalent 6 Watt LED with it because the minimum is too low. Two bulbs would get you over the minimum, but also over the maximum.
Installing Dimmer Switches
When installing Clipsal dimmer switches it's important to disconnect the circuit before opening the panel. Mains electricity can be very dangerous so always follow the appropriate safety precautions.