Safety First!

  • Be sure you have a dimmer switch that works with the type of light bulb you are using. CFL and LED light bulbs require special dimmer switches.
  • The light fixture wattage must not exceed the dimmer capacity.
  • Replace single pole switch with single pole dimmer and 3-way switch with 3-way dimmer.
  • Install only one dimmer in a 3-way circuit.
  • Wiring for your dimmer may not match the drawings below always verify with the manufacturer’s instructions.

NOTE: You will need to attach the dimmer leads using wire “nuts” or connectors.  The wires from a dimmer switch will appear different than the wires attached to your existing switch.  They are what are known as “stranded” wire.  Stranded wire is composed of a bundle of small – gauge wires wrapped in a single piece of insulation to make a larger conductor.  Stranded wire is more flexible than standard wire.

 

Single Pole Dimmer

Single Pole Dimmer

3-Way dimmer switch wiring

3-Way dimmer switch wiring

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Identify the type of switch you are replacing and purchase the correct dimmer switch. a) Single Pole or 3-Way? b) incandescent, halogen or CFL, LED?
  2. Remove the existing switch.
  3. Attach your wires, using wire nuts, according to the drawings above and/or the instructions supplied with your dimmer switch.
  4. Be sure all connections are correct and secure.
  5. Tuck wires back into box and mount switch to box – don’t replace the cover plate yet!
  6. Return to Service panel and restore power by switching the breaker to the “on” position.
  7. Actuate switch to verify lighting works properly.
  8. Replace Cover Plate