This morning I added another tip to the Losing Edison series. The piece is all about the need for lighting control systems and dimming solutions. It also explains (in broad strokes) the variety of dimming solutions available on the market. As always, it's geared toward beginners or those who are necessarily familiar with lighting control systems.
From the article:
The biggest failure in lighting control is often that the controls, whether a slide dimmer or a keypad, are misplaced in the room. Entrances make sense, but people often don't think of where they'd most like to control lighting within a room. The best example of this is the bedroom. It's great to have a light switch at the door, but wouldn't it also be nice to have controls near the bed? That way, you won't have to get up to turn the lights out before you go to sleep.
Dimming makes lighting more sustainable. If you dim your lighting at all, no matter how you do it, you're helping reduce energy consumption. Not only are you saving energy, but you are extending the life of your light source. Remember, all light sources in the end are based on using electricity to burn something. Anything you do to slow the burning extends the life of the light sources.
Dimming needs to be thought through in the beginning of a project. If your intention is to dim the lighting in a room, make sure that's expressed early to your team. Any light source can be dimmed, as long as the proper components are specified at the beginning. It's as simple as telling your electrician at the start of the project, "I want the compact fluorescent lights in the kitchen to be dimmable." Any qualified electrician will know what it takes to make that happen, and the cost increase should be minor.
(Side note: I get absolutely no money for mentioning Lutron or any other lighting brand.)