Why Are Dimmer Switches So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Have you ever ever been in a room that was too vivid and wished you would dim the brightness of the room lights? In that case, then you definately would want a dimmer for it. Dimmer switches are a commodity that does not come normal in most properties. They’re a specialty merchandise that prices greater than common gentle switches.

Dimmer switches are costly due to the parts within the swap itself and the options they provide. A dimmer swap is a commodity that may do extra than simply flip a lightweight on or off. As a result of completely different capabilities and settings they’re able to, dimmer switches are understandably costly.

Nonetheless, many individuals assume that dimmer switches are dearer than they must be. They really feel that electricians and DIYers benefit from individuals by overloading them. An enormous a part of the rationale dimmers are so costly is their value of set up. This text examines why dimmer switches value what they do and why they’re so costly.

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Why are dimmer switches so costly?

There are a number of explanation why dimmer switches and their set up are so costly, and right here they’re.

your further capabilities

Dimmer switches have extra capabilities and capabilities than a typical gentle swap. You may make a room brighter or softer with the easy adjustment of a knob. Many dimmer switches also can change gentle colours or regulate to a softer or tougher tone. Since dimmer switches are thought of a commodity, firms can cost extra when promoting them.

The assorted capabilities that dimmer switches supply are solely doable by further parts contained in the swap. I will go into extra element about what these parts are in a second.

The price of set up

Dimmer switches have further wiring and circuitry that make their set up a bit tougher. Relying in your swap, it might even be essential to run a further electrical wire from the sunshine to the swap. This extra cable just isn’t free and will increase the set up time. Putting in a dimmer swap can take as much as an hour longer than a typical swap.

Want particular bulbs

To ensure that the dimmer swap to work, they want particular gentle bulbs. These bulbs are appropriate with the swap, and the 2 work collectively to vary brightness or colour. Nonetheless, the sunshine bulbs are additionally dearer than standard gentle bulbs, typically twice as costly.

What are the parts of a dimmer swap?

Let’s talk about the extra parts in dimmer switches that add to their value and worth.

Pulse Width Modulation Dimmer

Situated contained in the dimmer, PWM dimmers are the parts answerable for controlling the brightness of the sunshine. Typical gentle switches would not have pulse width modulation dimmers.

Triode AC Swap

As you improve or lower the brightness of your gentle, completely different quantities {of electrical} present circulation between the sunshine and the swap. The triode AC swap regulates this present, guaranteeing no element is overloaded.

Inductor choke and interference capacitor

These parts are answerable for storing electrical cost and releasing it when wanted to vary ranges of brightness. In addition they assist stop the hum and buzz of an overloaded lightbulb.

Further wire for communication

Most traditional gentle switches work with simply two sizzling wires operating from the swap to the sunshine. Nonetheless, dimmer switches require a 3rd wire to speak between the swap and the wire. This further wire provides a small value to the swap itself and the price of set up.

Dimmer swap vs. value comparability for traditional switches

Dimmer switches usually value three to 5 instances greater than a typical swap, not counting set up prices. You should purchase a typical gentle swap from Amazon or any residence enchancment or ironmongery shop for as little as $3 to $5. After all, there are completely different ranges of switches, and a few are fancier or have completely different colours than others. Usually, nevertheless, most gentle switches value not more than $10.

Dimmer swap costs, then again, usually begin at $10 or $15 and go up from there. There are lots of completely different dimmer switches with further options and fancier controls. The price of this may be as excessive as $50 or $100.

Set up comparability

The primary cause dimmer switches value greater than normal switches is set up prices. A typical gentle swap will value between $10 and $30 to put in as a result of it is easy, not sophisticated. Whereas dimmer switches are a bit tougher to put in, they’re thought of a commodity. Meaning electricians and DIYers should cost three or 4 instances to put in a single swap.

Benefits of a dimmer swap

Whereas many individuals take a look at a dimmer swap and assume it isn’t definitely worth the cash, there is no denying that it provides sure advantages.

Save electrical energy

With older dimmer switches, there was no cash saved by dimming the lights. They’d numerous parts inside them that burned off the additional power if you dimmed the lights. Consequently, you continue to used the identical quantity of power whether or not you had the lights on their brightest or their darkest setting.

Nonetheless, trendy switches save power by dimming your lights with a dimmer swap. When you set your lights to 50% brightness, you employ solely half as a lot power as at full brightness. Dimmer switches can turn into a long-term funding in the event you desire to have your lights at a decrease brightness setting.

Your lightbulbs will last more

Not solely will you get monetary savings in your month-to-month electrical energy invoice, you may get monetary savings in your lightbulbs as effectively. To ensure that your dimmer swap to work, you want lightbulbs which can be appropriate with it. These bulbs are typically greater high quality than conventional bulbs and are extra sturdy and long-lasting.

Dimmer bulbs additionally last more as a result of they are not subjected to as a lot stress. A normal lightbulb at all times runs at full capability when it’s switched on. A dimmable lightbulb solely works as laborious because the dimmer swap tells it to. At 50% brightness, it solely works at 50% capability. In principle, in the event you maintain your lightbulb at half brightness on a regular basis, it would final twice so long as a typical lightbulb.

Extra management over your lighting

Dimmer switches additionally offer you extra management over your lighting. There could also be instances through the day when the solar is shining into your own home and you do not want full lighting in your house. At different instances it might be pitch black outdoors and chances are you’ll need to flip your lights as much as full brightness. Regardless of the cause, dimmable lights offer you extra management over the brightness in your house.

Can I set up a dimmer swap myself?

When you’re wanting to economize on the general value of your dimmer swap, you may optionally set up them your self. Nonetheless, you ought to be conscious that dealing with electrical energy is at all times related to dangers, even when you’ve got earlier information.

Find out how to set up a dimmer swap

When you’re bold and have the appropriate instruments for the job, here is how to economize and set up a dimmer.

Select the swap you need

First it’s worthwhile to choose the specified dimmer swap. There are lots of completely different switches on the market with completely different options, so ensure you choose the one which does what you need. When selecting, you need to contemplate, amongst different issues, the utmost and minimal brightness, the tone and colour of the sunshine, in addition to the variety of switches and bulbs you want.

You probably have a row of three or 4 lamps that you just all need to swap out for dimmer switches and bulbs, it is cheaper to purchase a 3 or 4 swap dimmer swap.

Energy off the swap you might be changing and take away the outdated swap

After getting your swap of alternative, it is time to minimize energy to the swap you are going to be engaged on. To do that, flip the circuit breaker on the primary panel to the OFF place. Subsequent, take away the outdated swap’s wall cowl and use {an electrical} tester to confirm that the ability is off.

Unscrew the screws securing the outdated swap and pull it away from the wall. Make a remark of the place every of the completely different wires connects to the completely different screws. Take an image or mark the wires if crucial so you may maintain monitor. When you’re accomplished, disconnect the wires from the outdated swap.

Join the brand new dimmer swap

Comply with the directions that got here along with your dimmer to reconnect {the electrical} wires to the suitable terminal screws. Nonetheless, typically you join the naked copper wire to the inexperienced terminal, join the black dimmer wire to the widespread wire, and the 2 remaining dimmer wires to the opposite two wires within the management field. Learn your dimmer’s instruction handbook fastidiously earlier than making any connections.

Restore energy and do a follow run

As soon as the cables are related, the dimmer swap is screwed in and the brand new wall plate is connected, it is time for the check drive. Be certain that the breaker on the primary panel is again within the ON place and activate the dimmer swap to check your handiwork. Undergo the completely different options of your swap to ensure every thing is working because it ought to.

associated questions

Are there dimmers in colours aside from white?

Whereas white is the most typical colour for all sorts of switches, dimmer switches are available in a wide range of completely different colours.

How lengthy does it take to put in a dimmer swap?

Putting in a dimmer swap with out electrical coaching can take a number of hours. An skilled electrician can do that in 10 to half-hour.

Do it’s worthwhile to rent an electrician?

Obtain free, no-obligation quotes from skilled contractors close to you.


Last Ideas

Whether or not you need to admit it or not, dimmer switches are complicated commodities with a justifiably excessive value. The assorted parts they carry to work and the capabilities they’re able to is why they’re so costly. Nonetheless, whether or not they’re best for you is solely as much as you.

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Earlier than I began writing, I labored within the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC industries for greater than 6 years. I used to be primarily an HVAC installer but in addition labored as a plumber and electrician. Now I am a copywriter, targeted on DIY content material and guides.