Shared Knowledge


Leviton Decora Light Dimmers - User Review


14 September 2005







In 1991, my wife and I had our house completely renovated to include all electrical wiring and all switches. As part of the renovation specification package, I had specifically defined Leviton rocker type switches but wound up getting the plain old toggle type switches and because renovations took so long and was such a hassle, I did not fight with the general contractor or the electrician although I should have.  I should have.


Anyway, a year ago I decided I could and would replace all switches in the house myself. Being a college trained electrical engineer and having worked around electricity all my life, I was not afraid of the job at all and set about figuring how many of what type switches I needed, be they single pole, three way, 4 way or dimmer and lighted. It was not hard to pick a product line as Leviton has the most complete line of switches available or so I think and I especially liked their screw-less faceplate system, which I did use and like very much.


When it came to selecting dimmer switches and I love dimmer switches and adjusting lighting seems to me just such a natural thing to do or want to do, on occasions, I selected the Leviton Decora True Touch dimmers.


I live in a large, 3 floor house and it took me a while to install all new switches everywhere as some 3 and 4 way circuits where pretty squirrelly to figure out, but I eventually got all switches to include all dimmers installed.


I do not think I had all switches installed more than 2 days when my wife began complaining that she just could not stand the dimmers I had installed. Half the time, she could not get them to turn on and then get the brightness set correctly and then half the time, she could not get them to turn off. I showed her how to use the True Touch dimmer several times but it did not matter. I would come home from being out and find all sorts of lights on because she could not get them to turn out.


When I decided to buy the True Touch dimmer and install, I had never actually played with one but thought from their description they were the most modern of all dimmer switches I had seen. To turn on the attached light, you simply tape the dimmer switch. Tap again and the light turns off. Place your finger on the switch and hold it and the light cycles brighter or lower depending on where you started from. Seemed perfect but after a while of my wife just not adapting and I actually finding them hard to adjust the light, I decided they had to go but what to replace them with?


After reviewing all Leviton had to offer again, this time I settled on Decora IllumaTech Slide Control dimmer switches, which are a combination on\off switch at the bottom and a slider switch at the top.


For sure it was a pain in the ass to have to go back and take out all the True Touch dimmers and replace with the IllumaTech but in the end, I have to say it was worth it. Control of the lights attached to the IllumaTech is so much simpler to operate than with the True Touch. For example, I open the door to our master bathroom, slide the dimmer control all the way down to minimum light and then push the on\off button and the light comes on dimly. Or I can set the lighting like I want it and then push the on\off button and the light will go out but the next time I push the same button, the light level will be back where I left it.


Certainly the Illumatech is not as cosmetically pleasing as the True Touch as you do have a button and a slider but operationally it is so much better.



Ron - Shared Knowledge Home