We are in a transitional period right now where incandescent lighting which has been around for the last hundred and forty years is being reconsidered, its not being phased out but we are beginning to use more compact flourescents or even LEDs. Compact flourescents can be dimmed but not all of them have that capability, we're seeing replacement compact flourescent bulbs that you can put in your existing fixtures but you have to look to see if it is dimmable. It has not been prevalent that manhy of them have been dimmable but we're seeing more of these capabilities. My guess would be that in the next two to three years we're going to see more and more of the compact flourescents. LEDs for the most part can all be dimmed but you have to be very careful about the type of dimmer you use. Not all dimmers work with LEDs so if you are going to dim an LED you have to check with the manufacturer and check to see which dimmer works well with that product. In the case of a house that has existing incandescents and your looking to replace them with flourescents, there are some benefits in some cases of keeping your incandescent lighting, for example lets say that you have a very tall foyer and that happens to have incandescent fixtures, if you were to put a dimmer on that incandescent, it has really interesting benefits because for every ten percent that you dim the lightbulb, it doubles the life of the bulb. So if you have a very tall fixture and its difficult to get to that fixture you can increase the life of the bulb by dimming it a little bit. In these situations its better to keep your incandescents. If you have a switch you reallyshould consider a dimmer, because ultimately itdoes let have that incredible range of possibilities and gives a greater a level of comfort to your life. Once you are more accustomed to using these dimmers there are now more sophisticated systems that operate on a radio frequency so that you can take your existing dimming locations and install radio frequency controls, creating whole house elements so that the dimmers are talking eachother. So you can set up situational lighting, for specific tasks and settings.
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