dumb light dimmer questions?

Maybe someone more knowledgeable can satisfy my curiosity: I have wall dimmers on a lot of our lights to get the light level just right and make the bulbs last longer (like our bathroom that has 6 60 watt halogen bulbs that can burn your skin off !!!).

I remember old wall dimmers – rheostat types full of copper windings and brushes and heat sinks – and I'm guessing they really didn't save any electricity……just dissipated it as heat.

How about the new electronic dimmers: do they save electricity or just re-route it somehow and consume just has much at any setting? When you turn it all the way down Low so the bulbs don't even glow, are you using any juice?

And maybe you want to try this: our 25 year old house was built with ceiling fans in every room…….speed adjustment wall switches. Turn them on and you get noise in the AM radio. Is there an easy cure?

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