Selecting a Dimmer – Single or Multiple Location Switches

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 32,623
    Home Maintenance Expert Steve McCurdy discusses single or multiple location lighting dimmer switches.

    Steve McCurdy: Hi, this is Steve McCurdy from Leviton Manufacturing. We are here today, to talk to you about selecting the proper dimmer for your home. Now one of the important things in most homes today, is the location of the dimmer. You have a couple of choices, that typically exist in the house. One might be a single location, where you have one dimmer controlling, one group of lights. There are other locations where you have, what we called 3-way applications, or in some cases multi-location applications.

    For example, the top and the bottom of your stairs, you might want to be able to turn the light on and off from both locations, and dim it, from may be one location and have a switch at the other. In other way, you could do it, if you're using digital products is, it gives you the capability to dim it from both locations.

    Two ends of a hallway would be example. If you have a dining room in your room, you might have one or two entrances to that dining room. There you'd want to use a multi-location dimming. So when you're selecting the proper dimmer, make sure that product is suitable for multi-location or 3-way dimming.

    In one of the ways, sometimes you can check to see that, is the number of wires that are around the dimmer. Now in my hand here, I have a basic rotary single pole dimmer, and you can see that there is just two basic wires on this dimmer. In my right hand, I have an illumatech dimmer, that actually has additional wiring to it. And that's used for 3-way applications, because the wiring between one location and the other, has what they called traveler wire, that is used for controlling both ends of that switch. So multi-location dimming provides a great convenience for you, and the ability to control lights from more than one place. Next, we're going to talk about energy savings, and how dimmers can really affect the bottom line.