Customized Lighting: Dimmer Switches and 3-Way Lamps

Published: 28th July 2009
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Dimmer switches and 3-way lamps are a great way to customize the level of light needed in a given room. These offer a wonderful way to save on energy costs, and provide a convenient way for each family member to customize the lighting in their own space. Adjustable lighting also allows for tailoring the level of light to the needs of the moment. Use dimmer switches to create mood lighting for a romantic dinner, or use the highest setting of a 3-way lamp to study or read. Whatever the particular circumstance, customizing your home's lighting with dimmer switches and 3-way lamps will make it easier to create the atmosphere that you want.

Energy Savings

Using a dimmer switch or a low setting on a 3-way lamp can save you money by reducing the amount of energy used to light a room. Energy efficient CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs are also available for use in 3-way lamps, amplifying the savings even more. CFL bulbs do cost more than standard 3-way bulbs, but the energy savings will far outweigh the added cost, especially since CFL bulbs last up to seven times longer than standard 3-way bulbs. Of course, you're not limited to using CFL bulbs, though they will maximize your savings.

A dimmer switch also saves you money by reducing the amount of electricity used, but instead of lighting with three distinct intervals, a dimmer switch lets you adjust the light to a level that is just right for you.

Customize Your Lighting

Dimmer switches and 3-way lamps let you alternate between ambient lighting and task lighting with the same light source. Ambient lighting is the general lighting that encompasses a given room, whereas task lighting is adjusted to the specific needs of the user. Types of light fixtures that allow for adjustable ambient lighting include 3-way floor and table lamps, and ceiling lighting with adjustable dimmer switches.

Task lighting is generally accomplished with table lamps. Task lighting involves adjusting the level of light for detailed tasks like reading, needlework, or general office work. A big advantage of 3-way table lamps is their ability to meet the needs of both ambient and task lighting.

Choosing the Right Lamps and Fixtures

When deciding on what type of adjustable lighting to use in each room of your home, consider the purpose for which the room is most often used. In general, it's a good idea to use 3-way table lamps in bedrooms, office spaces, and any other place in the house that may require a switch from general to task lighting. In general living and dining areas, it's best to use a main source of general light, such as a 3-way floor lamp or ceiling light with a dimmer switch. Table lamps can be added to increase illumination and further customize lighting levels in common areas of the home.

Dimmer switches and 3-way lamps not only provide the greatest convenience and ability to customize lighting levels, they're also energy efficient. This is good for the environment, and good for your pocketbook. By choosing the right adjustable lighting for your home, you maximize your savings and your ability to customize the mood or task lighting of every room in your home.

-- has a wide selection of various table lamps to choose from. Stop by and search for you lamp by style, height, and/or price.

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