Porch lights on dimmer?

I have two coach lights on my porch that I'd like to put on a dimmer to reduce their brightness. It's a small porch and even with 40w bulbs it is pretty bright. Problem is we generally turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn and I was wondering what the life expectancy and risks might be of using a dimmer. I know dimmers generate some heat.
I'd need to use a 3 way dimmer. The lights are controlled in the family room and the laundry room, both switch locations are ganged, 3 in the family room and 2 in the laundry.
Anyone ever do this?
Thanks for you input!
Mark
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No risk at all. Install a three way dimmer at either location, or if you really don't need the light, use smaller wattage lamps

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Thanks!
I tried 20w, but the bulbs were expensive, a little small in the fixture, and didn't last very long. It would also be nice to have the option to turn them up when we'd like the extra light.

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How about 25 watt "T10" ("refrigerator/showcase") ones?
At full power, a "Big 3" name brand one of those produces close to 230 lumens with life expectancy of 500 or 1,000 hours, brighter than a 25 watt A19 designed to last 2500 hours though dimmer thjan a 40 watt one.
At 10 watts, a 25 watt 120V tubular produces about 25-30 lumens of light, brighter than a 4-watt but a bit dimmer than a 7-watt incandescent 120V nightlight bulb. A 40 watt A19 to produce that amount of light requires about 15-16 watts.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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if you going to use a regular incandescent put the dimmer AFTER the 3 way switches in the line feeding the lamp.
this way you dont have to disturb the 3 way switches they are easy to muck up:( and persumably you wouldnt be changing the lamp britness often so the dimmer can go in a easy place to install.
lamp life will skyrocket.
although energy wise your probably better off with CF
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I prefer lower wattage lamps if you hardly ever need "full" brightness, since incandescents operate with much less energy efficiency when dimmed.
A 40 watt 120V incandescent when dimmed to brightness of a 7 watt one consumes about 18-20 watts (for usual A19) and about 13-15 watts for tubular "refrigerator/showcase" models. Tubular "refrigerator/showcase" 120V incandescents up to 40 watts are typically vacuum models while 120V 40 watt A19 typically has a gas fill, and when close to vacuum-vs-gas-energy-efficiency-breakeven-point of filament design (higher watts per unit visibly apparent filament length does better with gas, lower prefers vacuum) the vacuum ones have energy efficiency worsened less by dimming.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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I installed a light sensor that automatically turns on the lights which is really nice. As for the wattage, I find a 25 watt on each side is more than enough lite for two coach lites. ANything brighter and your house stands out amongst all the others. Dimmer is a good idea but someone will always be rubbing up against it and altering its setting. etc
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How about using a 25 or 15 or 7.5 watt bulb? How about one of those 3, 4 or 5 watt compact fluorescents with candelabra bases and candelabra-to-medium adapters? Lowes sells a nominally 4 watt compact fluorescent of such style that appears to me similar to one that Home Depot used to sell, which slightly outshines a 15 watt 120V incandescent while consuming close to 5 watts. Home Depot now carries a 3 watt compact fluorescent of such style that is a little dimmer than a "standard" 15 watt 120V incandescent, and is rated for use with dimmers. That one appears to me to be a "cold cathode" model, which has generally no compromise in life expectancy from dimming (usually actually lasts longer when dimmed) and negligibale to no compromise in life expectancy from frequent starts. The disadvantage of "cold cathode" is lower efficiency, but "hot cathode" has shorter life expectancy at lower wattages and efficiency compromise by designing for higher current lower voltage for the tubing to use more durable electrodes. The Home Depot 3-watt cold cathode candelabra base compact fluorescent is of the N:Vision brand. It outshines 7 and 7.5 watt incandescents but is slightly to somewhat dimmer than 15 watt ones.
Other than that, this range of light output is where screw-base 120V LED "lightbulbs" have begun to do fairly well in the past couple years. Keep in mind that they cost more than compact fluorescents, the N:Vision 3-watt candelabra base compact fluorescent is rated to last typically a good 20,000 operating hours, and the widely-repeated 100,000 hour life expectancy figure for LEDs largely does not apply to white ones (which at full power tend to last a few thousand to 50,000 hours before fading by 30-50%). Some LED "bulbs" may not be rated for use with dimmers. However, LEDs will continue their advances...
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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replying to Mark, Jim Harrison wrote:

A light switch dimmer would be a pain. If it's a std socket, find a 25 W equivalent LED lamp that takes only a couple of watts and try that.
Jim
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On Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 12:44:08 PM UTC-6, Jim Harrison wrote:

installed. Afterall, it's only been 8 1/2 years ago that he originally posted his question.
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