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November 21, 2019 • In Electrical • 2 Min Read

DIY Guide for How To Wire a Dimmer Switch on Your Lights

GEM

By GEM

Whether you are a thriller, horror, comedy, or rom-com movie-aficionado, your evening film is much better enjoyed with the lights in your living room dimmed. It’s all about setting that movie-time ambiance, right? We’re here to help you get there. 

Installing a dimmer switch is a relatively easy task, so it’ll be a breeze for an expert Do-It-Yourselfer!

Let’s get started. 

Before you get started, take a look at the light switch you are hoping to add a dimmer to. What type is it? There are two possibilities: 

  • A single-pole dimmer (through which you can control a light with only one switch in one location)
  • A 3-way dimmer (through which you can control a light from two different switches in two locations)

Once you know what kind of light switch it has, go purchase the corresponding number and type of dimmer switches. 

Warning: the following process is difficult work, and involves high levels of electricity. We don’t want you to get hurt. If you are not comfortable installing a dimmer switch yourself, GEM is always here to help. Book a service appointment with us.

Now, let’s get started. First, turn off the power

1) Remove the current light switch using a screwdriver. 

If there are wires behind the switch, disconnect them. 

Beware! Make sure that the wires are not electrically charged before you go poking your fingers around in them! To do so, test the wires using a non-contact voltage detector.

2) Reattach the wires to your new dimmer switch. 

Connect each original wire to the new dimmer wire by twisting the ends together using a pair of pliers. Then use a wire connecting nut to cap them off.

Note: The ground wire from your dimmer (which are typically copper) must be attached to a green wire. Make sure that you keep track of the common wire from the wall switch, and attach it to the dimmer wire.

3) Install the dimmer on the wall using a screwdriver. 

4) Install the new wall plate using a screwdriver. 

Beware! Make sure to neatly tuck all of the loose wires back away behind the switch.

Note: You also want to ensure that the box that you chose is large enough to fit and hide all of the wires away.

5) Put the removable dimmer knob back on the dimmer (if it has one). 

And now you can enjoy that movie-time ambiance. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy. 

If, for some reason following these steps did not get you to where you needed to be, give GEM a call for some extra assistance. We are happy to help you with all of your lighting needs!

Ready To Talk To A GEM Home Services Specialist?

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