The RIGHT Way to Install a Dimmer Switch

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 23, 2016 10:57:08 AM / by Jaron Henkel

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Creating ambient lighting and a relaxed environment in your home or office can be as easy as installing a dimmer switch. Dimmer switches also have practical purposes, as they help you save money and electricity and conserve your light bulbs. Installing a dimmer switch only takes about an hour and can be done in a few easy steps. Check out our step by step how-to below!

Step 1 - Cut The Power And Remove The Old Switch

Before you begin handling wires and electricity, it is important to cut the power to the correct switch. Identify the circuit and cut the power on the fuse box or circuit breaker. Double and triple check by trying to turn on a light switch. 

Once you are sure the power has been cut, unscrew and remove the existing light switch cover. You will then need a flathead screwdriver to remove the screws of the old switch and detach it from the box. Carefully pull the switch and attached wires away from the box.

 

Step 2 - Remove The Wires From The Old Switch

Loosen the screws on the sides of the old switch to disconnect the wires from it. You will want to make note of the wire colors and where they were attached on the old switch. If needed, remove the grounding wire after you have disconnected the the other wires

 

Step 3 - Attach The New Dimmer Switch To Wires

After removing the old switch from the wires, you should have three wires: black, white, and a separate ground wire. Attach these wires to your new dimmer mimicking the old placements and using pliers to guide them around the screws. Tighten each screw, making sure the ends are secure. In the event that you have multiple wall wires in a group, be sure to twist the ends of these wires together to form one single wire before attaching the wire to the screw.


Step 4 - Install The Dimmer Switch To The Wall Box and Add Switch Plate

Once you have replaced the older switch with a new dimmer module, fold all the wires back into the wall box and position the new switch on the box. Screw in the dimmer switch to the box and the replace the switch plate. Once you have secured these two things, return power to through your fuse or breaker box. You have successfully installed a dimmer switch!

*Note: Not all light bulbs are suitable for dimming. Be sure to read the bulb’s instruction as it will indicate if the bulb is able to dimmed or not.

homeowners electrical guide

Topics: home wiring, Light Switches