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Derating

Dimmers are larger then standard sized switches for the purpose of better heat dissipation and cooling. In order for larger dimmers to fit side-by-side and line up with a multiple gang wall plate, a process of derating must occur. This is done by removing the thin metal tabs from either one side of each dimmer or both (depends on the application). This is called derating because it actually lowers the capacity load the dimmer can control, hence the dimmer has a lower rating.