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What does derating a dimmer mean?

Derating is reducing the maximum capacity that a dimmer switch can effectively handle once the fins are removed. The fins are removable scored sections that run along the side of the mounting plate on the outlet. This section can be removed to facilitate ganging. Ganging is side by side installation of dimmer switches. After a dimmer has been derated, it will only be able to handle half of the capacity it had before.

Understanding dimmer switches

A dimmer switch is used to vary the brightness of a light. This is accomplished by varying the voltage on a switch up and down. This affects the intensity put out by the lightbulb.

Dimmers have two basic wiring setups; single pole dimmer and three way dimmers. A single pole dimmer has one switch that controls one light. The three way dimmer controls two switches. This is so one switch will turn the light on and off while the other changes the dimness of the bulb. A Lutron Dimmer Switch is a versatile option for your home.

Dimmer switches can reduce your energy bills but before you think about installing one you should understand that each lighting source is unique and you should always test the dimmer.

View our whole selection of dimmer switches.