How to Buy the Perfect Dimmer for Your Home

Your Guide to buying the best Dimmers


A dimmer switch is an important component in any home lighting system, allowing you to adjust the amount of light in a room or space depending on the time of day or your mood. When shopping for a dimmer switch, there are several important considerations to keep in mind, such as load capacity, type of dimmer, compatibility, wattage, and installation procedure. This buying guide will provide an overview of dimmer switch types, features, and installation tips to help you determine the best dimmer switch for your lighting needs.

Key features

  1. Type of Dimmer: The type of dimmer you need will depend on the load type, such as incandescent, halogen, or LED. It is important to make sure you are using the correct dimmer for the load type you are using.
  2. Load Capacity: It is important to know the wattage of the lamps or bulbs you are using. Make sure you select a dimmer that can handle the wattage of the load you are using.
  3. Voltage: It is important to make sure the dimmer is compatible with the voltage that your fixture requires.
  4. Size: The size of the dimmer will depend on how much space you have available to install it. Be sure to measure the area you have available for installation and select a dimmer that will fit in the space.
  5. Compatibility: It is important to make sure the dimmer is compatible with the type of wall box you have installed. Additionally, make sure the dimmer is compatible with your dimmer switch.
  6. Features: Look for additional features such as remote control, dimming type (preset, variable or adjustable), and fade rate control.

See the most popular Dimmers on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Energy Efficiency - Dimmers help to conserve energy by allowing you to adjust the brightness of a light to the desired level, thus reducing the amount of energy used.
  • Safety - Dimmers help to avoid dangerous situations, such as bright lights that may cause accidents, by allowing the user to adjust the brightness of the lights to safer levels.
  • Cost Savings - Dimmers can save money in the long run by reducing the amount of energy used and helping to reduce electricity bills.
  • Convenience - Dimmers are easy to install and use, and can be used to quickly adjust the brightness of a light to a desired level.
  • Light Control - Dimmers allow you to have more control over the lighting in a room by allowing you to adjust the brightness to the desired level.


  • Cost - Dimmers are typically more expensive than standard light switches.
  • Compatibility - Dimmers are not compatible with all types of light bulbs. LEDs, halogens, and some other specialty bulbs may require special dimmers.
  • Installation - Installing a dimmer can be complicated and is best left to a professional electrician.
  • Operation - Dimmers may not work properly if they are overloaded. It is important to check the wattage of the dimmer and its rated capacity before using it.

Best alternatives

  1. Motion Sensors - A device that detects movement and transmits signals to control devices such as dimmers.
  2. Pre-Set Lighting Control systems - Automatically turn on/off lights based on preset schedule or conditions.
  3. Dusk-to-Dawn Sensors - Automatically turn on/off lights based on the time of day.
  4. Light Switches - Mechanically control the amount of light in a room by turning on/off lights.
  5. Lighting Controllers - Automatically adjust the brightness of lights with the push of a button.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Wall Plate - A cover that sits over the wall box and dimmer switch to provide a finished look.
  • Dimmer Switch - An electrical switch that can adjust the output of the lighting from dim to full brightness.
  • Wire Stripper - A tool used to properly expose the copper wiring within a wall box.
  • Voltage Tester - A safety tool to verify that the power is off before beginning installation.
  • Screwdrivers - Needed for most dimmer switch installations.
  • Wire Connectors - Used to safely and securely connect two wires together.

Common questions

  1. What types of dimmers are available? Dimmers come in various types, including rotary, slide, and touch dimmers. Rotary dimmers are the most traditional type, featuring a knob to adjust the light. Slide dimmers work similarly to rotary dimmers, but feature a slide mechanism instead of a knob. Lastly, touch dimmers are the most modern type, featuring a touch-sensitive plate for adjusting the light.
  2. Are dimmers compatible with all types of light bulbs? Not all types of dimmers are compatible with all light bulbs. Some light bulbs, such as CFLs and LEDs, may require special dimmers to work properly. Make sure to check the specifications of your light bulbs and dimmers to ensure they are compatible.
  3. What type of wattage can a dimmer support? The wattage capacity of a dimmer will depend on the type of dimmer you choose. Generally, the wattage capacity will range from 150 watts to 600 watts, and can be found in the product specifications. It is important to make sure the wattage capacity of your dimmer is enough to support the wattage of your light bulbs.
  4. Are there safety precautions to consider when using dimmers? Yes, when installing and using dimmers, it is important to take safety precautions. Make sure to always read the instructions carefully and follow any safety warnings or directions. Additionally, make sure not to exceed the wattage capacity of the dimmer, and to use an appropriate type of dimmer for the light bulbs you are using.


A funny fact about dimmers is that they were once thought to be such a cool invention that they were featured in the 1956 movie, The Cable Car Mystery! This movie was part of the popular "Hardy Boys" series of the time. According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, the dimmer switch was considered to be a marvel of technology that the boys used to solve the mystery. Source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.