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HomeTips & GuidesWire Dimmer Switch – How to Choose and Install

Wire Dimmer Switch – How to Choose and Install

About Wire Dimmer Switch, Did you know you can install a dimmer switch and control the brightness of your connected lights in your room? 

A light switch features a dimmer controller, such as a slider, that regulates the electricity flow to your connected bulbs. 

While this can change the mood of your settings, it also saves energy while extending the lifespan of your lights. 

Today, we discuss how to wire a dimmer switch, but first, let’s discuss how to choose a single-pole one.

How to Choose a Single-Pole Dimmer Switch

As logic would have it, the first thing you should do before installing a dimmer switch is to buy the right one. In this section, I will mainly discuss how to choose.

Bulb type

Before you start, know that not all dimmers can work with different types of bulbs. For example, you cannot use LED bulb dimmers with halogen lights or xenon dimmers with HID bulbs. Therefore, ensure the dimmer you buy has the specifications for your bulb types. You may also go for universal dimmers, which control various lights but may be expensive.

Wattage capacity

As you may expect, these devices come with different wattage ratings for a specific number of bulbs. For this reason, you need to add the total wattage of the bulbs you minted to control with the switch. From there, buy a dimmer switch that equals or exceeds this wattage, lest you risk burning your switch.

Switch style

While this consideration is purely, aesthetical and preference, it’s advisable to find something fun that blends with your settings. The most common switch styles are toggle, slide, digital, and rotary.

A type of dimmer switch styles

A type of dimmer switch styles

Smart features

Lastly, you can choose a dimmer with modern smart features, but you may have to pay more. Again, these dimmers require neutral wiring, which is not available in many places. For this reason, you might want to check if you have neutral wiring before buying a high-tech dimmer.

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Believing you bought the right dimmer depending on the above factors, let me show you how to install it. But before that, you will require the following tools.

  • Wire cutter
  • Wirer striper
  • Voltage tester( non contact)
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Eye protection
  • Needle pliers
  • Dimmers switch
  • Wire nuts/connectors


Isolate the power

The first step is to locate the fuse box and identify the circuit breaker of the switch you want to replace.

Once you identify it, switch it off to prevent electrocution and give you ample time to wire. If you’re unsure which fuse to turn off, flip the entire fusebox’s mains.

Remove the cover

From there, unscrew the face cover carefully and remove it. In some cases, you may need to unscrew the screws of the switch after removing the cover.

Pull the switch gently outside, and note you may experience some resistance. While doing this, treat every wire as live and do not touch them.

Test the power

Once done, use your voltage tester to ensure you switched off the current. Here, you will need to follow the instructions of the voltage tester carefully.

However, in most cases, you just need to touch the wires with the tester tip and see if it lights.

Note and unscrew the wires.

Now note the earth, live, and neutral wires once you open the switch. From there, disconnect the wires by unscrewing each and then pulling gently to free them. Usually, the screws holding the wires are on the switch side, but for wire nuts, turn them anticlockwise. You may now clean the wires by straightening the curled ones and clipping the crooked ones.

Installing a dimmer switch

Installing a dimmer switch

Compare the switches

Before you can wire your dimmer, check to see if it fits in the space left by the old switch. If not, you may need to call a professional for help. But if it fits, then proceed to the next step.

Connect the dimmer switch.

Some dimmers may come with extended wires for connection, while others may have screw terminals. Whichever is yours, the only important thing is to identify live, neutral, and grounding terminals.

For the record, live is usually red or brown, neutral is black or blue, while grounding is green or yellow. Once you identify these wires on the switch and wall, connect them correctly, screwing them tightly, one at a time.

Screw the dimmer switch.

Now that you have connected the wires attach the dimmer switch to the wall and screw it snuggly. While here, ensure you do not leave gaps or trap wires.

Additionally, ensure no loose wires and that you do not bend wires excessively, lest you destroy them.

Turn the power on and test.

Finally, you must turn the circuit breaker back on and test if your dimmer works. If not, check if your bulb wattage and type coincides with the dimmer.

If it works, then you’re done. All that’s left is to use the knob to set the brightness to your liking.

Operating a fuse box

Operating a fuse box

Wrap up

With this simple-to-follow guide, I trust you have everything you need to install your dimmer switch. However, if you are not confident in your electrical connection capabilities, it wouldn’t hurt to call an electrician.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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