Do It Yourself Dimmer Switch Installation

Many homes today have very harsh overhead lighting. This comes on the heals of people trying to lower the cost of lighting the home by using larger bulbs in limited locations throughout the home. This effort does help in some manners but in other ways it can be very difficult to maintain a comfortable air in the home. When people are trying to relax it is difficult when there is a hundred watts of light beaming down into their eyes. To take care of this issue you can add a simple dimmer switch to the light and maybe make things a bit more comfortable for everyone involved.

A dimmer switch is a power limiting device. They are used to lower the amount of power that a light bulb can draw. As an example you can put a one hundred watt bulb in a light fixture that is attached to a dimmer switch. By moving the switch you can then turn the bulb into a power limited source as low as a couple watts. Then the switch can be moved back up to allow more power to reach the bulb thus making the light brighter.

Dimmer switches are very simple devices by nature. They are nothing more then a light switch that has been formatted to limit the power supply. This is done by way of a capistor inside the switch that will absorb the current when the switch is set to low and then allow the current to move when it has been moved up higher. The current that is absorbed will not be used by instead sent back to the source as it would be when the light is off.

Changing the existing light switch to a dimmer switch is very simple. The first order of business, as with any kind of electrical work, is to turn off the power source. For this it is best to leave the intended light on and then flip the circuit breakers until the light is off to ensure that you have the correct breaker switch.

Once the power is off you need to remove the center screw from the switch plate cover. This will expose the switch itself and you then remove the screws on the top and the bottom that mount the switch to the wall box. Slide the switch out and pay close attention to the wiring and the way it is attached.

Remove the wires from the existing switch and then attach them to the dimmer switch exactly as they were originally attached to the normal light switch. Remount the dimmer to the wall box and then the switch plate cover.

Turn on the power and check to make sure the dimmer is working properly and you are done.

WARNING: Before working with any type of electrical project, please be sure to completely shut off the breakers and any other electrical currents that run through the area that you are working on. Also, be sure to follow all instructions on packaging for parts that you are using to prevent injury. If you are unsure of a project, or do not feel comfortable handling it on your own, please call a professional electrician to complete the job for you.