Installing a Dimmer Switch for Existing Fixtures
How do I Replace a Switch with a Dimmer Switch for my Light Fixtures? Dimmer Switch Wiring Connections for Light Fixtures.
Light Fixture Dimmer Switch
Electrical Question: How do I Replace a Switch with a Dimmer Switch for my Light Fixtures?
- I have three lights hanging over the kitchen island controlled by one switch.
- Each light fixture has a 60watt bulb in it. I bought a single pole 600W dimmer.
- I installed all of the wires from the old switch in the same places on the new dimmer.
- Besides the ground, there were two wires on screw terminals and one back wired.
- The dimmer works great, but only the first fixture goes on at all! What’s going on?
Thanks so much! (Please assume I know nothing, because that would be the truth!)
This electrical wiring question came from: Heather, a Homeowner from Colgate, Wisconsin.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Heather.
How to Wire a Dimmer Switch
Application: Wiring a Dimmer Switch.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before wiring the new dimmer.
Dimmer Switch Wiring Connections for Light Fixtures
- Splicing Existing Wires
It was stated in this question that there was two wires on a screw terminal, so these two wires need to be spliced together and connected to one wire from the dimmer switch.
- When replacing a switch with a dimmer it is important to identify the existing wiring before removing the wires from the switch.
- Using electrical tape or masking tape that you can number would be very helpful for identifying the wires locations.
- The Power Wire and the Light Fixture Wire
Typically there will be one wire that provides the power and one wire that leads up to the light fixtures.
- In this case, there was a pair of wires that were attached to one switch terminal, so these wires must stay together creating the splice with one wire from the dimmer.
- Testing the the Dimmer Switch Wiring
Using a tester to identify the power supply is necessary for the proper connection to the power lead of the dimmer switch. See the dimmer switch for full details.
- Always turn off the circuit before working with the wire connections.
More about How to Wire a Dimmer Switch
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Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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