Instructions for Installing a Dimmer Switch

To transition from fluorescent light bulbs to LED bulbs will require updating your toggle light switch to a dimmer light switch. This is a very easy DIY home repair project that won’t require too much of your time but can have a major impact on your energy and electric bill each month. A dimmer switch also helps to add ambiance and atmosphere to a room.

To install a dimmer switch won’t require much time at all. You can install a new dimmer switch in 15-30 minutes or less. You don’t need many tools or supplies either:

  • Non-Contact Voltage Tester
  • Phillips-Head Screwdriver
  • Flat-Head Screwdriver
  • Wire Strippers
  • Dimmer Switch
  • Wire Connectors

The first step in any electrical project, minor or major, is to ensure the power is off. You can not install a new dimmer switch, light fixture, ceiling fan or any other item that requires connection to your home’s electricity without turning off the appropriate circuit breaker first. Locate your circuit breaker box and flip OFF the breaker for the room(s) you will install the new dimmer switch in.

Now that the electricity is off, you can remove the plastic switch cover from the toggle switch (or the damaged dimmer switch). There should be a screw in the top and the bottom of the switch plate. Unscrew and remove the cover with a screwdriver.

Then remove the switch from the wall. First, test the voltage with the non-contact voltage tester. Place the tester on the screws attaching the switch to the wall. If there is no electricity, you can unscrew the switch from the wall. Then unscrew the cable wires from the terminals attached to the back of the toggle switch.

It is time to install the dimmer switch. First, connect the green wire from the electrical box to the base or ground wire of the dimmer switch. Then connect each black wire to each cable wire. Then connect the white wires together.

Then insert the installation screws from the dimmer switch into the electrical box and tighten until there is a secure fit. You can now replace the toggle switch cover with a dimmer switch cover.

This completes the installation of the new dimmer switch. Now it is time to test if the switch is working correct. Return to the circuit breaker box in your home and turn the power back on. Then return to the new dimmer switch and turn it on. If the light comes on, you have installed the switch correct. If not, you will need to unscrew the cover and ensure the wires are connected per our instructions.

Once complete, the dimmer switch will help reduce energy usage and energy costs in your home and add atmosphere with various lighting setting to suit the needs of you and your family. You can repeat this project for all of the toggle switches in your home for a truly energy-efficient home.

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