Dimmers are an excellent, inexpensive way to save energy while adding atmosphere to any room in your home. Installing one is something you can do with just a few tools in 15 to 30 minutes. Here’s what you’ll need to install a dimmer switch:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Non-Contact Voltage Tester
- Phillips-Head Screwdriver
- Flat-Head Screwdriver
- Wire Strippers
- Dimmer Switch
- Wire Connectors
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video, we’ll alert you regarding when you should and should not use the safety gear.
Turn off circuit. Start by turning off the breaker that controls the light switch you’ll be working on.
Remove switch cover. If the dimmer you’ll be replacing has a knob, pull it off. Remove the two screws holding the switch cover in place and left it off.
Detach switch. If you’re replacing a toggle switch, double check that the power’s off by placing a voltage tester on the screw terminals adjacent to the switch. If you’re replacing an existing dimmer, you’ll see two black wires and a green grounding wire instead of screw terminals. Touch the tester to both black wires. Once you’ve confirmed the power is completely off, remove the screws attaching the switch to the electrical box.
Detach wires. If you’re replacing a toggle switch, unscrew the cable wires from the terminals. If the wires are threaded into quick connect holes, insert a small flat-head screwdriver in the slot next to each hole to release them. If you’re replacing an existing dimmer, remove the wire connectors linking the switch wires to the cable wires.
Install dimmer. Use a wire connector to attach the dimmer’s green ground wire to the cable’s bare ground wire. Use the same method to connect each black wire to each cable wire. Note that while cable wires may be black or white, it doesn’t matter which black dimmer wire is connected to which cable wire.
For a SMART switch, connect the ground wire to the green connector on the switch, positioning the hook clockwise so it will pull against the screw as you tighten it. Identify your line and load on the black wires, and connect them to the corresponding line and load terminals on the switch. Connect the white wires to the additional white wire provided with your dimmer kit using a wire nut. Then connect the open end of the neutral terminal on the switch. Insert the installation screws into the electrical box and tighten until secure. Replace the switch cover and restore power to the circuit. For installation is complete.
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