Wiring a dimmer switch is easier than it looks. You need to be sure of the dimensions of the switch box on the wall, that the wires are long enough not to cause future short circuits that lead to fire, and have the necessary tools to do it right. 

The connection is basically the same for one, two, or three ways. When installing the dimmer, the key is to identify both the wall and dimmer wires; that way, you make sure everything is connected correctly. This can be done with colored tape. 

What tools do you need?

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Electrical tape
  • Color tapes
  • Voltage tester
  • Wire stripper/cutter

Can I install a dimmer switch on any light?

Each lamp has a different system, for example, the LEDs are different from the traditional ones, you must ensure that the dimmer is compatible with the type of lamp that is being installed, this is due to the differences in voltages that exist and the ability to regulate.

A switch can be compatible with LED, CFL, FLR, INC, ELV, MLV

How to install a dimmer switch with 2 wires?

dimmer switch install

Most installations start out the same, so the steps below apply to all dimmer installation processes. 

  1. Turn off the power of the circuit breaker. Confirm the power is off by flipping the switch you are going to replace. On and off.
  2. When the power is off. Unscrew the wall plate and switch the mounting screw and pull the switch away from the wall.
  3. Use a remote hot spot detector to avoid touching circuits and check the voltage before removing the regulating switch. 
  4. Locate the non-contact voltage sensing device near each screw terminal to ensure that no power is present. 
  5. Pay attention to the color cables. They are positive and negative. 
  6. Measure the box on the wall to ensure cable clearance and that cables are not pinched between the dimmer and the bottom of the box.
  7.  Join the cables with a screw. 
  8. Turn on the power of the circuit breaker, just to test it before putting everything back together.
  9. Remove the switch from the wall box and then insert the voltage tester to make sure there are no more hot spots coming from another circuit. 

How to wire a Lutron dimmer switch?

  1. When it is a single pole switch. You will see a green wire or screw on the switch connected to a green or copper wire on the wall box. That is the ground connection.
  2. See black wires from your wall box connected to your switch. One of those additional wires will be attached to a dark-colored screw. This is the common wire. 
  3. Use a piece of electrical tape to mark the common wire or a color tape to identify it. 
  4. Disconnect all the wires from the old switch by loosening the screws and looking at the wires from the mounting screws. 
  5. Now the process of installing a single pole.
  6. Connect the green wire to the green or copper ground wire in the wall box. Using a wire connector that came with your dimmer. 
  7. Twist clockwise to tighten the connector. 
  8. Then connect the remaining wires to the remaining wires in the box. 

How to wire a 3-way dimmer switch?

If you are replacing a 3-way-switch. Wich controls one light or group from more than one location (2 locations). You will have a ground wire plus 3 other wires. The process is similar to installing a single pole. 

  1. Connect the green dimmer wire to the green or copper ground wire in the wall box
  2. Then Connect the black dimmer wire to the common wire that you marked with the electrical tape.
  3. Finally, connect the remaining wires to the remaining wall box wires and caller traveler wire. In a typical 3-way-application, the traveler wires will be red or white with black marks. 
  4. Now you can carefully tuck the wires back into the wall box. 
  5. Align the dimmer against the wall.

How to wire a dimmer switch to a ceiling light? 

As easy as explained in the previous steps. Special care must take to ensure that the dimmer is compatible with the type of light and that the wiring of the lamp or ceiling lamp is in good condition.

You do not need an electrician to make this change or replacement, you only need the tools, 15 minutes of availability, and always test. Be aware of hot spots or places where the wires are too close together.

How to wire a dimmer switch. Do-it-Yourself! was last modified: May 4th, 2023 by Vanessa Gallanti
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