Newbie question of light dimmers

Can I replace a normal (on/off) light switch with a dimmer switch? Will my lights work with a dimmer regardless of the type of light they are, or do only certain types of lights work with dimmers?
Thanks.
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nsf wrote:

Any incandescent light will work. You can't use them on flourescent lights, including the energy saving compact ones that are designed to replace existing regular light bulbs.
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On 13 Mar 2006 13:58:55 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Well.... you CAN, you just SHOULDN'T.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Unless you use the small number of dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs that are available.
Pete C.
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The answer above is correct.
One thing you did not mention in your post but should be aware of. If the lights are only controlled by one switch the change out is easy. Just turn the circuit off and go for it.
Lights controlled by more than one switch are different critter.
Colbyt
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nsf wrote:

Most yes, but some low voltage lights and most florescent lights can be damaged or cause damage if dimmed.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Purely by accident I discovered you can dim many CFC bulbs using a fan control rather than a lamp dimmer. I don't know how much stress this puts on the bulb or if it will shorten its life but it appears to work.
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PipeDown wrote:

Some CF lamps are rated for dimming and may be dimmed with a regular phase control dimmer as you would use for an incandescent lamp.
Pete C.
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PipeDown wrote:

My concern would not be shortening the life of the lamp, but rather overheating it resulting in a fire.
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Joseph Meehan

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