A dimmer switch allows you to create romantic ambience at the touch of a button. Take this quiz and find out if you know how it performs its mood-setting magic.
When was the residential light dimmer switch invented?
What is the average life expectancy of a dimmer switch unit?
more than 10 years
more than 20 years
more than 30 years
What is the name of the component that dims the light in older types of dimmer switches?
What is a conductor choke?
a small transformer
a coil of wire around an iron core
a device that does not conduct energy well
What is the disadvantage of older resistive-only dimmers?
The light bulb burns out faster.
The light tends to flicker.
There is a lot of heat from the dimmer.
Is there an energy-use advantage when you compare the older resistive-only dimmers to the newer models?
Old-style dimmers use more energy.
Old-style dimmers use less energy.
Old-style dimmers use the same energy as the new type.
How do modern dimmers control the brightness of the light?
by shutting the voltage off and on rapidly
by changing the voltage using a transformer
by using two variable resistors instead of one
In the U.S., how many times a second does alternating current go from positive to negative?
50 cycles a second
60 cycles a second
70 cycles a second
How many times a cycle does a modern dimmer shut off the current?
How many times a second does a modern dimmer shut off the current?
What does the turn-on value regulate?
the speed of the electric current coming into the light
the brightness of the light
the amount of electricity being used by the light
What happens to the light bulb when the dimmer is switching the light on at its fastest?
It is as dim as possible.
It is as bright as possible.
It is not on at all.
What component is present in both modern and older types of dimmers?
How does the variable resistor work in a modern dimmer?
It delays the current.
It speeds up the current.
It has no effect on the current.
When a dimmer's variable resistor arm is all the way to the right, how bright should the bulb be?
the brightest level
half as bright as it can be
the dimmest level
What could be the cause of buzzing from a cheap dimmer switch?
heat from the variable resistor inside the switch
the switch cover not being flush against the wall
sudden voltage jumps from chopping the electric current
You installed a new dimmer, and now your TV is making funny noises. What went wrong?
You didn't properly disconnect the electricity to the wiring before installing the dimmer.
You accidentally wired the dimmer switch to the same electrical line that runs to the TV.
You purchased a cheap dimmer that is poorly designed.
Modern dimmers contain a component called a triode alternating current switch (triac) that actually does the work to dim your lights. What does the triac do to the electric current to achieve a dimming effect?
It reduces radio interference, such as buzz, caused by dimmer components.
It switches alternating current on and off so fast it makes a light appear dim to the human eye.
It acts as a firing capacitor to send current to an incandescent bulb.
How does the dimmer used to control stage lighting differ from cheaper residential dimmer switches?
The triac in a stage lighting dimmer is much bigger and has a higher tolerance to extreme conditions.
These dimmers are essentially the same inside except the components are hardier.
Stage dimmers must be noise free, so they contain a more expensive device called an autotransformer to reduce current to the lamps instead of a triac.
How do touch-pad dimmers differ from regular modern dimmers?