Replacing a simple on-off light switch with a dimmer switch gives you more options for bright and low-level lighting. But how do you know which kind of dimmer to get? You can buy a single-pole dimmer for a circuit with an outlet controlled from only one switch location, or a 3-way dimmer for a circuit with an outlet controlled from two switch locations.
You also need to make sure that the total maximum wattage allowed for all the light fixtures that will be controlled by a single dimmer switch does not exceed the maximum wattage rating on the dimmer. For example, if you have six lights, each rated for a maximum 100W lamp, you will need at least a 600W dimmer. In general, low-voltage lighting requires low-voltage controls. Most fluorescent lights, however, cannot be controlled by dimmers. Once you know the maximum wattage allowed, you need to choose from the various types of controls — push-on/push-off, rotate-on/rotate-off, knob, slide, touch-activated or toggle switch with slide.