Rotary Dimmer Switches

Have you ever heard the term rotary dimmer switch and wondered, what is that? Obviously it’s a switch, but what makes it so special? Actually, it’s a single-pole switch that has a dial on its face.

What is the Knob Used For?

The dial is used to control the amount of brightness of a bulb. It can be adjusted from a very dim, moon-glow level, to the full brightness. The rotary knob turns from left to right and is in the off position when turned to the far left. Full brightness is achieved when the rotary switch is to the far right position.

Heat Dissipation

Dimmer switches are basically a switch with a big variable resistor built into it. They consume energy, therefore they heat up. To help dissipate this heat, they often come equipped with cooling fins or aluminum faces to help dissipate the heat. A larger box may have to be installed if there is too much heat coming from the box that you install it in. The case is the same for boxes with many wires in them. The dimmer switches are much larger than a standard single-pole switch, so be prepared to accommodate them.

Other Types of Dimmer Switches

There are other types of dimmer switches available to control your lighting. They all do the same basic thing, but have different looks to them.

  1. Toggle-type DimmersThese dimmer switches look just like a standard single pole switch, but they are adjusted up and down. They are available in single-pole and three-way configurations and come in many different color schemes.
  2. Slide-type DimmersThese dimmers have a large slide handle that comes with built-in illumination. These are easy to see at night when the lights are out. To use these, simply slide the paddle up for brighter and down for dimmer lighting.
  3. Automatic DimmersThese dimmers are by far my favorite. They have an on, off, and automatic setting on the switch. When set to the automatic setting, the built-in photo eye adjusts the room lighting to compensate for changes in the lighting in the room. If it’s a sunny day and then it suddenly becomes cloudy and dark outside, the dimmer will increase the brightness of the light to maintain the same level of brightness in the room.