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I have a room with the main light on a dimmer switch.

If I turn the switch all the way down, then the light doesn't go off. And indeed, it doesn't even go all that far down.

I'd like the minimum to be lower (ideally off). What controls that?

Is it solely a function of the bulb? solely the dimmer switch? A combination of the two?

If it's determined by the dimmer switch, then is that something I can modify on the switch? If not, then what property should I be looking at when I buy the replacement switch? What value determines the intensity of the light at the lowest bound?

I assume that for the maximum brightness, I don't care about anythign except the bulb ... I just need to get a higher Wattage bulb, just as I would do for a regular, non-Dimmable switch.

Is that right?

  • What type of bulb? Only incandescent bulbs behave as you would expect on a dimmer. Some LED bulbs are dimmable but may not do quite what you'd think. Other LED bulbs behave strangely and CFLs don't work. – Chris H Oct 9 '16 at 16:48
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First check that your dimmer does not have a dimming range adjustment. Several of the Lutron CFL/LED dimmers have this ability, check for an adjustment dial. LUTRON ADJUSTMENT

But lower dimmable levels depend on what type of bulb you have (CFL, LED, incandescent, halogen).
Lutron Dimmable Bulbs identifies the following

What does “compatible” mean? Compatible means that the bulbs can be dimmed, although the bulb’s dimming performance may not match what you’re used to seeing when dimming an incandescent or halogen bulb. These bulbs have also been electrically tested to confirm that the control may be used up to its full rated CFL/LED load without affecting the life of the control. Products on this list are considered compatible with the respective Lutron C·L dimmers. Depending on the quality of the bulb you select, compatible bulbs may still: - have less dimming range than an incandescent or halogen bulb - dim less smoothly than an incandescent or halogen bulb - flicker or shimmer at certain light levels - buzz

As you notice LED and CFLs are not able to dim to the same levels that incandescents and halogens can achieve. So if your using LEDs or CFLs and want to dim to a lower level you could switch to incandescent or halogen. But if you must use LEDs or CFLs then the only way to have less "brightness" is to move to a lower lumen bulb or try changing color temperature.

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You said the light does not turn off at the lowest setting. Is this dimmer just a round knob (rotary dimmer switch) you turn clockwise or counter-clockwise to brighten or dim? If so, press the knob in to click the light on or off.

Otherwise, see if there is another switch somewhere that turns it off and on. In dual-switch situations there is usually one dimmer switch and one regular switch, not always in the same location. In one of our rooms we have a rotary with push on/off by one door, and a regular switch by the other.

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