Adding a Dimmer Switch for Existing Lights
Selecting the Size and Type of Dimmer Switch for Existing Lights – The watt capacity or size of the dimmer switch should be greater than the total amount of connected watts from the light fixtures being controlled. Dimmer capacity typically starts at 600 watts.
Size and Type of Dimmer Switch for Existing Lights
I have 3 separate switches operating (on/off) 3 cans simultaneously, i.e., all on/all off.
- Would like to put a dimmer switch in place of one of the switches.
- Do I use a 3 way or do I go to a 4-way dimmer?
- The 3 lights are spots (100W each). Do I need a dimmer with a 600W capacity?
This electrical question came from: Bob, a Handyman from Ocala, Fl
Thanks for your electrical question Bob.
Adding a 3 Way or 4 Way Dimmer Switch
- Bob, the type of dimmer switch being installed will need to match the existing light switch.
- So if the light switch is a 3-way, then a 3-way dimmer switch will be required.
- If the existing light switch is a 4-way, then a 4-way dimmer switch will be required.
- The selected dimmer switch must be compatible with the existing wiring to accomplish the dimming from the location you choose.
Sizing a Dimmer Switch
- The watt capacity or size of the dimmer switch should be greater than the total amount of connected watts from the light fixtures being controlled. Dimmer capacity typically starts at 600 watts.
- The Following will assist you with your Dimmer Switches
- 3 Way Switch Diagram
- Light Switch Wiring
- 4-way switch wiring
- 4 Way Switch Diagrams
- Fully explained 4 way switch diagrams. 4-way switches are a convenient way to operate lighting fixtures from three or more locations.
- The electrical wiring adds additional wiring to the same principles of 3-way switching.
- Wiring a dimmer switch
- 3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagram
- Fully explained 3 way dimmer switch wiring diagram will take the mystery out of wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.
- This link is helpful as a Handyman
You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes!
Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!
The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!
The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets
Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency
Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included
Tests standard 3-wire outlets
Light indicates if wiring is incorrect
Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!
The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.