What's the best way to dim a lamp, and why? Also, which method is typically used in most typical residential dimmers? I originally thought it was as simple as wiring a potentiometer between the source and load, like this: Or this: Apparently not. I guess potentiometers are prone to overheating.
I notice a lot of schematics online simply add a transistor (BJT or FET): Slightly different configuration: I don't really understand how that's supposed to be any better, but it's relatively simple and I see it a lot.
I'm sure there's probably more, but these are the schematics that I've simulated, and have on hand.