How to install a dimmer switch for lighting in your home, considering the various types of dimmer switches and which is best for your needs.
If you are ready to change the mood of a room, nothing does it quicker than a dimmer switch. Being able to lower the brightness of a room goes a long way toward making it seem more mysterious and romantic. If your room does not already have a dimmer switch installed, the good news is that almost anyone can install a new dimmer switch in less than 30 minutes. For regular room lighting, a new dimmer switch will cost less than $5.
Begin the process by heading to the home center and purchasing a dimmer switch that matches the color of the current standard switch or another color if you prefer. Most of these switches are a rectangular shaped switch with a round knob that can be turned for dimming and brightening or pushed for on and off. However, there are several other varieties of dimmer switches. Some have a slide for dimming and a standard looking switch for on and off. A few look like a standard switch, but instead of being a spring loaded lever, it can be eased up or down to adjust brightness. For more money, you can get many more choices.
With the new switch in hand, you are ready to start the installation. The new switch should fit right into the existing switch box. Turn off the power to the switch that you are going to change. Using a screw driver, remove the cover from the light switch. Unscrew the two screws that hold the switch inside the box. Once these screws are removed, the switch should just pull from the box. Grip the switch on each side and pull it gently until it is clear of the box.
Rotate the switch to the side a little. You should be able to see the connections where the wires are attached. The wires may be looped around screws or just be pushed into holes on the switch. Loosen the screws that hold the wires in place. You should be able to either open the loop or pull the wires from the holes at this point. When the wires are all loose, remove the switch and set it aside.
The new switch should resemble the one that you removed. You will need to either push the wires into the holes on the side of the switch or loop them around the wires to attach them. When this is complete, tighten the screws very snugly. The wires should not be able to be easily pulled loose from the switch. Once the wires are secure, gently push the switch into the box with the wires behind it.
When the switch is all of the way inside, fasten the two screws to the switch box. You may need to remove the round knob to put the switch cover in place. Put the screw or screws in the cover and replace the knob if necessary. Restore the power to the switch. It is time to turn it on. If you do not have any loose connections, the switch should be ready to set the mood for your next romantic encounter.
Published in: Do-It-Yourself