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home maintenance  /  February 13, 2019

Replacing a Light Switch With a Dimmer Switch

If you know how to change a light switch, then installing a dimmer switch shouldn’t be much trouble. Dimmers are a great way to improve your home’s appeal. For smaller homes with dual-function rooms, changing the intensity of the light can help transform your room for another use. For instance, if your work computer happens to be in your bedroom, a bright light can help increase your productivity. Afterward, use the dimmer switch to tone down the lights when you’re ready to relax before bed.

You’ll need to do some preparation before the actual installation. You will need flathead and Phillips screwdrivers and the dimmer switch itself. Here’s how you do it according to the experts at Handyman Connection® of Orange County.

Preparation

  1. Kill the main power to the circuit involving the switch you want to change. If you have a fuse box, you may have to turn off power for the whole house, so do this installation during the day when you have plenty of natural light. If you have a circuit breaker, simply turn off the power to the specific circuit.

  2. Unscrew the switch cover using the flathead. The main switch box can be detached using the Phillips, as most come standard with a cross-screw.

  3. Using the Phillips screwdriver, carefully loosen then detach the wires connected to the switch box. Note the wire colors and their positions.

Installation

  1. There are three wires that connect the switch box to the main circuit: one red, one black and a ground wire. The ground wires can either be bare or covered with a green wire sleeve.

  2. Attach the black and white wires to the dimmer switch in the same position as they are attached to the old switch box. Their positions are often standard and should look pretty much similar.

  3. Attach the ground wire. For bare copper ground wires, loop the wire and hook it to the ground on the dimmer. Then tighten the Phillips screw over it to secure the wire in place.

  4. Replace the dimmer switch into the switch plate and use the flathead to install it in place.

  5. Place the switch cover and turn the power back on.

Now you can finally enjoy your new dimmer switch. Learn more practical tips and access handy how-to guides by visiting Handyman Connection of Orange County. Give us a call at (714) 494-1117 and get everything you need for your home upgrade today.

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