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Dimming Your Way To A Comfortable Evening

Maybe the long cool winter night has you charged to have a couple of your rooms on dimmer switches.

You may want to snuggle in bed in a dimmed room while watching your favorite show. Or perhaps now’s the time for that candlelit dinner you’ve been thinking about having. 

Almost any light switch can be changed into a dimmer switch for very little cost, plus, it’s easy to do yourself.

To change a light switch into a dimmer switch, buy a high quality dimmer switch and plate at the hardware store. 

Make sure the plate contains a couple of screws to screw it on or you may need to use the old screws. The same holds true for the dimmer housing. 

Have a flathead and Phillips screwdriver handy and a flashlight, just in case. 

Begin every electricity job like this in full daylight and with the electricity off. If you’re not sure which breaker switch turns off your light switch, flip the switch that shuts of the entire house all at once. 


Use flathead screwdriver to remove the old plate and pull out the old switch which could be wired in with two wires or with three (including a ground). The ground screw is usually green and is along the side of the dimmer unit.


Use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the old outlet; keeping track of which copper wire was on the top and which was on the bottom.

Remove the dimmer button from the hardware housing and look to see which end of the switch is up. 

Use your screwdriver to tightly attach the existing copper wires to the screws on the back of the dimmer switch. Make certain the copper wires will not come loose.

Use a screwdriver to attach the dimmer switch housing to the frame around the electrical unit.

The holes for the screws are standardized and should fit only one way. 

Now, using the flathead screwdriver, screw on the plate with the metal fitting for the dimmer knob sticking through the hole provided.

Finally, push the knob onto the fitting.

Turn the electricity back on and check your dimmer switch.


 Imagine how nice your dimmed room will look and how much electricity you’ll save when you’re in control of your lighting.

NOTE From 1 September 2012, an EU directive aimed at reducing the energy use of lighting, meant that retailers are no longer be allowed to sell 40W and 25W incandescent bulbs. Similar bans came into effect for 60W and 100W incandescent bulbs over the past three years.  Only low energy bulbs can now be sold.

Many of the low energy bulbs on the market are not suitable for use with dimmer switches, it is, therefore, imperative to check the packaging and/or supplier to ensure the correct bulb is purchased.





Originally contributed by localcontractorbids.com but it would appear this site is no longer online.

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