i am renovationg my living room/dining room area. i was driving home today thinking how nice it would be to have my lights on dimmers. i am going to do 3 way switches though. can you get 3 way dimmers? i want to be bale to control my lights from opposite walls which are 25' apart. anything special required for them? or can i just go ahead and wire for 3 way switches and if i want, install dimmers as an upgrade?
1. Get a 3-way dimmer and a 3-way switch. Wire them as you would normally wire 3-way switches. You will be able to dim from one but only control off and on from the other.
2. Get a specially designed set of dimmers which are designed to dim from mulitple location. These are called multiple location dimmes, like the Maestro from Lutron. These prove to be quite expensive, like $50+ ea. Personally, I have never found the strong desire to dim from each location. I have always been happy with a simple $10-15 dimmer and a regular 3-way switch - as opposed to $100 for two ML dimmers. I find that dimming is a special situation which would not cause great inconvinience to walk across a room when desired. The 2nd switch in a 3 way circuit is usual useful for turning a light off when leaving a room, or providing some light for visibility when entering from that particular side - in either case a simple rocker or toggle does just fine. I have not personally used the ML dimmers, but have heard from the only person that I know that ponied up for them, that they "annoyed" him.