How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Installing a dimmer switch is a quick and easy way to add more control over the lighting in a room. It's very handy, especially at bedtime, to be able to dim the lights a little. I replaced the switch in my son's room and he was able to help quite a bit.


Not all types of lighting is dimmable, fluorescent bulbs, for example. So be sure you have the correct type of lighting before you begin this project.

  1. Turn off power leading to the switch you will be replacing
  2. Remove the old switch plate. Usually a flat head screw driver is all that is necessary for this step.
  3. Unscrew the old switch and remove it from the inset box.
  4. If the old switch is hard wired, the easiest thing to do is to simply cut the wires close to where they enter the back of the switch
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  6. Lightly twist the wire from the new switch to each of the black wires coming from the wall.
  7. Screw the wiring connector onto the wires so they stay connected
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  9. The ground wire coming from the wall will need to be connected in the same way to the green wire coming from the switch. Leave the white wire as is in the box. Once all the wires are connected it will look like this.
  10. Push the wires back into the box and screw the new dimmer switch into place.
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  12. Screw the new switch plate on and you're done!

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April 21, 20110 found this helpful

Yay! Directions with pictures for us instruction challenged individuals!

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June 18, 20140 found this helpful

Please everyone remember - you CAN NOT use a dimmer switch with the new compact florescent light bulbs unless they are rated to handle it. The dimmer usage cf bulbs are even more expensive than the normal cf bulbs. Enjoy.

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