How to Replace a Dimmer Switch

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Have you ever thought about replacing one of your light switches with a dimmer switch? It’s very easy to do, and the ability to dim your lights will reduce your energy consumption as well as energy costs!

Any time you work with electricity you must be very careful! Before you start, you will need to either cut the power to the light switch at the main panel or remove the fuse entirely. Additionally, make sure you flip the light switch ‘off’ just in case!

First, you will unscrew the screws to the cover plate as well as unscrew the screws that anchor the switch in the electrical box so that they can be removed. The switch will be attached by 3 wires (either 2 black or 1 black and 1 white, plus a green or bare copper ground wire). Use a circuit tester to once again check that the wires are not live! First loosen the screws that hold the 2 similar wires and remove those wires – leaving the ground wire for last. Cut the ends of the 3 wires coming from the wall and strip and inch of insulation off the wires. Use a twist on wire connector to attach the green wire from the dimmer switch to the ground wire coming from the wall. To attach the connector, hold the wires next to each other and screw on the connector in a clockwise direction. Always make sure all bare ends are covered by the connectors. Then, connect the remaining 2 wires from the dimmer switch to the wires coming from the wall.

Once all wires are connected, screw the dimmer switch into the electrical box and reattach the cover plate. Lastly – attach the knob, restore your power again, and start reducing your energy costs!

What is needed for the job
  • Twist-On Wire Connectors
  • Screwdrivers
  • Circuit Tester
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers