Many people are looking for little products to upgrade their home. Making something ordinary to something extraordinary in a home is often a good place to start. Others simply crave a change or are looking for specific commodities to improve day to day life. Whether they are big or small changes, there is a lot to do achieve your goals. With that in mind, we at Burley Electrical Services would like to outline how to convert your standard light switch into a functioning dimmer switch. This simple but effective upgrade can help create ambiance or offer the degree of lighting you need for that particular instance.
How to Replace a Normal Switch With a Dimmer
1) Start by turning off the power at the circuit or fuse breaker box. By using a voltage tester and testing the light switch, confirm the power has been knocked off.
2) Remove the light switch cover plate with generally a flat head screwdriver. To remove the switch box you will likely need a philips screwdriver.
3) To loosen the screws, hold the electrical wires on the side of the switch, and then detach the wiring using the correct screwdriver. Important for the next step, be sure to pay close attention to the wire colors and where they had been attached on the old switch. (Tip: If it helps, take a picture with your phone to help you remember, or write notes.) To opposite corners of the box separate the wires and keep them separate. Disconnect the grounding wire last if the switch is grounded. (Tip: While working in this small, confined space, use needle nose pliers.)
4) You will see three wires that are black, white, and a separate ground wire that may be bare copper, or sometimes wrapped in green. To identify the different colored wires, refer to your photo or notes and attach the wires to the dimmer as the previous light switch was connected. Create a loop in the end of the wire with the pliers and guide it around the screw on the side of the dimmer, if your wires are solid copper. Make certain that the wire is fastened securely beneath the screw and is not splaying to the perimeter of the screw, tighten screw. Use the pliers to gently twist the ends of the wires together to make them one unit and then follow the same direction, if your wall wire is composed of a group of smaller wires.
5) Carefully fold any excess wire and compress the dimmer into the electrical box, once the wires are connected correctly. Practice caution and care to make certain the wires don’t loosen or are inflicted with damage if you have to apply pressure to get the switch into position. Fit the switch plate by tightening the screws to secure the switch to the box. Turn the breaker or fuse back on once the cover is in place.
Tip: Keep in mind that not all light bulbs are designed for use with dimmer switches. The incorrect bulbs can damage the bulb as well as the dimmer electronics. The bulb’s label will usually indicate if it is dimmable.
Electrical Wiring Work & More in Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Davie, Fort Lauderdale & South Florida
If you do not have any experience with electrical procedures, do not attempt this project. Electrical projects require some experience to avoid damage and especially injury. If you want a dimmer switch installed call in the experts of Burley Electrical Services.