May 14, 2010, Newsletter Issue #201: Rheostats Are Where It's At

Tip of the Week

Lighting Advice: You call it a dimmer switch. The experts formally call it a rheostat—but don't choose the older rheostats that waste energy. Whatever the name, these new slick electronic remote controls allow you to, in the words of Southern California Edison, "Flex Your Power." What do rheostats do? Save eyestrain and fatigue you get from working under the wrong halogen lighting or fluorescent home lighting. Create a mood for every room, from cheerful and expansive to warm and cozy. Save energy by cutting out three-way bulbs and making existing bulbs last 20 times longer. Glow in the dark for easy location. Work in nearly every home, even mid-century or turn-of-the-century. Come in a variety of styles and colors.

A dimmer switch gives you plenty of options, from the light level to the kind of dimmer switch. You can use the rotary dimmer switch you might have grown up with. The new trend is slide rheostats, which allow full-range, total dimming control and a glow-in-the-dark light level indicator. Another model, the one-touch dimmer switch, stores the previous lighting level. And as with everything else in this modern age, dimmer switches multitask.

You can have a multi-set dimming system that controls all the lighting within a room. Of course, as with other high-tech systems, you can operate multi-set dimming home lighting systems with a click of the remote. So, hats off to rheostats!

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