Deck the Walls This Holiday Season!

Deck the Walls This Holiday Season!
It's a bright way to combat the high cost of living

With home heating costs about to break the bank this holiday season and gasoline hovering at over $2.50 a gallon, many homeowners are looking for ways to cut back on their living expenses without having to painfully alter their style of living. Looking for places to save? You need look no further than overhead. Lighting accounts for a significant portion of your electric bill, especially if you tend to leave your lights on even when areas of your home aren't occupied.
One way to cut down on your utility bills is to install dimmers in place of your home's light switches. Because dimmers let you adjust light levels to meet mood and task requirements, they can enhance your home's decor with atmosphere and style in every room. They're also a bright idea when it comes to saving energy. By lowering light levels when full brightness is not needed, you cut down on electrical consumption.
Choose The Model That's Right for You:
Mention dimmers to most people, and chances are they'll think of a traditional rotary design. Still popular today, this model offers the basics: On, Off, and somewhere-in between controlled by a rotary knob. But why stick to the same old thing when there's so much more to choose from? For example, today's touch dimmers turn on or off when you place your finger anywhere on their flat touch surface; a gentle finger tip motion allows you to adjust the light level. Their digital circuitry provides a soft, eye-pleasing gradual fade up or down when you turn the light on or off. A touch dimmer is ideal for seniors, who may have trouble gripping or turning a traditional rotary dimmer.
Easy-to-use rocker-style dimmers feature an elegant low-profile rocker switch that responds with one tap by bringing lights up to a pre-set level; a second tap turns them full on. A tap to the lower portion turns them back off again.
Fine adjustments are easy with an ultra-smooth slide dimmer. As with touch pad models, some slide dimmers come with a convenient preset switch to recall the last light level that was selected. There are even dual slide-type versions for those of you with ceiling fan/light combinations. Just think--no more guessing which chain controls that function!
One of today's most striking designs is the new Acenti(r) dimmer from Leviton. With its return-to-neutral design, the push pad switch always remains aligned, whether on or off, with no shadows or broken lines to mar its symmetrical look. And there's no dust collecting webbing between Acenti devices in multiple installations. Luxurious to touch and an aesthetic treat for the eye, each push pad dimmer features a glowing blue guide LED to help you find it in a dark room.
Less is More:
With a dimmer switch, less is more--more money, that is, that stays in your pocket. Dim your lights by 25%, you save 20% on your lighting bill; dim them by half, increase your savings to 40%. You also extend bulb life up to twenty times when you dim a bulb halfway. Sleek, functional, economical--rotary, touch, rocker or slide dimmer model--no matter how you add it up, dimmer switches not only help beautify the home with lighting, they also make life more convenient for you. And that's a big plus in anyone's home lighting equation. It goes without saying that if you're going to do the installation yourself, always turn off the power at the fuse or circuit breaker and carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions packaged with the dimmer.

Courtesy of The Leviton Institute