How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Replacing a single pole switch with a dimmer switch is not that difficult to do. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Choose a dimmer switch with enough rated wattage capacity to handle the combined wattage of all the lights it will control.
  2. Select a dimmer switch that is designed for a single or multi (3-way) switch, depending on your requirements.
  3. Turn off the circuit breaker for the switch and fixture.
  4. Remove the cover plate on the existing switch and use an electrical tester to make sure the power is off.
  5. Unscrew the switch from the box.
  6. Unscrew the wires from the existing switch.
  7. Connect the wires to the dimmer switch, following the wiring instructions that came with it, connecting the ground wire as well.
  8. Screw the dimmer switch to the electrical box.
  9. Screw the cover plate to the dimmer switch.
  10. Turn the circuit breaker back on and test the dimmer switch.

Watch this video to find out more.

CFLs and Dimmer Switches

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) can’t be used with a dimmer switch unless they specifically state that they are designed to work with a dimmer switch.

Further Information


  1. Living in a 30 plus house w/orginal dimmer switches. Replaced the three bulbs with higher watt LED and now the switch on the wall makes a slight buzz noise. It doesn’t bother me but I’m concerned that this might be dangerous.. Is it? Cause I can just leave it if not. Tks, Sheree


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