Thursday, June 18, 2009

Will 3-way light bulbs work with a Dimmer Switch?

3-Way Light Bulbs and Dimmer Switches

By Mark J. Donovan

3-way light bulbs are constructed with 2 filaments in then. The filaments operate at different wattages. 3-way light bulbs work in special lamps that are designed to control which filament(s) are turned on in a 3-way light bulb. When the lamp is switched once the lowest wattage filament is turned on to create a dim light. When the lamp is switched a second time just the highest wattage filament is turned on to create a medium light. When the filament is switched a third time both filaments are turned on creating maximum light.

With a wall dimmer switch there is no way to send a command to the special 3-way light bulb lamp fixture to switch between the different filament settings. As a result the 3-way light bulb effectively does not work with a dimmer switch. In addition, having a 3-way light bulb in a dimmer switch is pointless since the dimmer switch itself will control the level of the brightness.

When using a 3-way light bulb in a lamp that is connected to a dimmer switch all that the dimmer switch will do is control the brightness level for the particular filament setting the lamp is set to.

No comments: