Do Dimmers save electricity or do they use just as much but just vary the light? So you have a 100 watt light bulb in your room so that you can have plenty of light when you need it and you have fitted the dimmer so that the room has a more intimate feel for other occasions. Does the dimmer switch just alter the amount of light that you get or does it also reduce the electricity consumption?
Do Dimmers Save Electricity…..the Test Results!
Here is some real data so that you can do your own calculations to work out how much electricity you can save by fitting a low cost dimmer. The Meany Goat has a row of four ceiling mounted 50 Watt halogen spot lights wired up and controlled by a single dimmer switch…….
With the dimmer just turned on and the spotlights giving out a warm glow the four spotlights were using 69.4 Watts of electricity
With the dimmer turned up to maximum the spotlights light up the whole room really brightly and consume 205 Watts of electricity….or around three times more!
So the major advantage of a dimmer switch is that it really does turn the light down and reduce the electricity consumption. So to answer the question “do dimmers save electricity” the answer is definitely “YES“!
If the spotlights were run for one hour every day of the year then they would consume around 75 units of electricity which would cost around €6.75 for the year. If the same lights were run mostly at the minimum level then they would only use 25 units of electricity costing only €2.25.
The test results show that the sensible use of a dimmer can save you around €4.50 a year in a room with four 50 Watt spotlights used just an hour per day. Imagine all the other rooms in your house and count up the potential saving which should be quite impressive. However, before you get carried away perhaps you should also think about an alternative and that is replacing the halogen or other spotlights with low energy LED lights. These are quite costly but usually come with a 2 or 3 year guarantee….and only use around 4 Watts each. So the same bank of spotlights would only use 6 units of electricity a year costing around 50 cents! So you can soon see that it is often much better to replace conventional lighting…even if it is controlled by a dimmer…with hi-tech LED lights. In a room that you use a lot, say four or five hours a day then the payback is very quick. Fitting a dimmer can be a DIY job, but if you have any doubt then always get a fully qualified electrician to carry out the installation. However, if you replace the spotlights with LED lights then you can do this yourself in just a few minutes.
Take a Frugal Tip from the Meany Goat and really take a long look at the lighting in your house. Chances are that you can save a really significant amount of money by updating to the latest LED technology where this makes sense or installing dimmers where you really want to control the mood of the room. Do dimmers save electricity…yes, but not as much as you could save using other methods.