The intensity of your lighting fixture changes the mood in your room. If you want to use your lights to create the perfect ambiance at home, then think about installing dimmers. It doesn’t take much to put a dimmer switch in place. Here are the steps on how to get it done. Even with a DIY guide, you won’t have to worry. You can handle this task with ease.
Prepare the Tools
Before you get started, you’ll need to have everything you need ready. That includes your tools. They should be within easy reach while you’re installing the dimmer switch. You’ll need needle-nose pliers, a 4-in-1 screwdriver, tape measure, wire stripper or cutter, and a voltage tester. You’ll also need wire connectors and a dimmer switch.
Explore your options and pick a dimmer. There are several wonderful choices like the Clipsal iconic dimmer that you can go for. Consider whether you need a single switch or a three-way dimmer. There are also LED dimmer switches. Be sure to order enough of the switches, though. Are you buying one for every room? Getting an extra switch or two is a good idea just in case you make a mistake or something goes wrong. That way, you can proceed with installing all the switches in one go. Buy the switch from a trusted shop, too. That’s one way to ensure that you’re getting high-quality products and not cheap options.
Start the Installation
To start putting that Clipsal iconic dimmer in place, you’ll need to turn off your power first. It’s dangerous to work the switches if the power is on, so always double-check. You’ll want to have someone nearby to have a light ready once you switch off the circuit breakers. The circuit must be turned off while you install the dimmer switches.
Check the Voltage
Use a voltage detector to determine the voltage before you install the Clipsal iconic dimmer switch. Pick a non-contact detector. This allows you to check hot wires before you touch them, so you can prevent any accidents. To test, hold the tip of the non-contact voltage detector near every screw terminal. If there’s no reaction, then that tells you that the power is still off. You can now unscrew the old switch, pull it away, and check inside the box for any hot wires.
Remove the Plates and Wires
Take off the existing switch and plate. Use a screwdriver for this. Remove the wires from the old switch next and then attach the dimmer switch. Attach the dimmer switch to the box and put the switch plate back.
Check Box Size
Make sure the steel box is in the correct size. Get the measurements: the width, height, and depth to get the box volume. Is the box large enough? You’ll need to replace it if it’s too small for your switch. However, this is a tricky job. You might need to cut away at the wall. You could also remove about 16 inches square of drywall or plaster. Once the new box is installed, you can just patch all that up. Consult with a professional technician to assess the work and get it done for you.
Test Your Ground
New dimmers often come with a green ground screw or green grounding wire. You’ll need to connect either one to a ground source if there’s one. If your house is wired with a plastic-sheathed cable, that means you have bare copper ground wires. You’ll have to connect them to the toggle dimmer switch. However, verify if the wire is connected to the ground. Use a neon voltage tester for that. And if the box isn’t grounded, no worries, you can still proceed with the installation. However, you’ll need to use a plastic cover plate. Make sure there aren’t any bare metal parts exposed. Once that’s done, test it again. Does the tester light up? That means the box is grounded.
Hire an Electrician
If the original switch is connected to white wires—two of them—then that could be dangerous for you. Hire a licensed technician to handle the work instead. Also, if you have aluminum wiring, that’s another reason why you’ll need to get an expert to do this for you. Otherwise, you might make mistakes that could lead to accidents or unpleasant consequences.
Determine If it’s Right
Remember that dimmer switches are not a good match for all light bulbs. Combining it with the wrong one will only damage the bulb, so check with a technician beforehand.
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