Types of Lighting Controls
Lighting controls give you the ability to adjust the mood and ambiance in a room and let you create a lighting plan with multiple uses and decorative effects. Controls also allow you to lower your light level to conserve energy and increase bulb life and to match the intensity of the light to your activity.
Toggle dimmers vary the intensity of the lighting with a small slider positioned next to the toggle switch. The toggle allows you to turn the lights on and off, while the slider allows you to alter the intensity of the light. These are preset-type dimmers, which means you can set them at a favorite setting that will deliver the preset intensity each time you turn the switch on or off.
Slide dimmers provide full-range, manual dimming control. Some are equipped with a touch-button that allows you to return to the previous lighting level when the lights are turned on. Others have an indicator light that glows in the dark for easy location.
Rotary dimmers provide full-range, manual dimming control. Some are equipped with a push-button operation that allows you to turn the light on and off and return to the previous lighting level.
Touch dimmers allow you to vary the intensity of the lighting while depressing a button. These systems permit one-touch recall of the previous lighting level. Some are equipped with indicator lights that provide a continual readout of the lighting intensity and delay features that allow the operator time to exit a room before the lights turn off.
Integrated dimming systems allow you to create multiple preset lighting scenes within a room. Scenes can be recalled with the touch of a button from a single wall-box or with hand-held wireless remote controls. Some manufacturers have even started offering systems that can be programmed via mobile devices such as the iPhone.