How to Wire a Two-Way Dimmer Switch

Updated February 21, 2017

Dimmer switches are good options for bedrooms or for those that want to save energy. These types of switches save energy because only the power that is needed is used at one time. The atmosphere of the room can also be changed by dimming the lights, or a sleeping child afraid of the dark can get a little comfort by having the lights dimmed to a low setting. Dimmer switches are easy to install and wire, and the project takes little time to finish.

Turn off the power to the light switch by flipping the circuit breaker to the "Off" position. Remove the light switch plate cover by removing the screws.

Remove the two screws that hold the current switch in place. Store the screws in a plastic bag so they do not get lost. Grab the switch in the centre and pull it from the wall gently.

Test the circuit, using a voltage tester to make sure the power is turned off to the switch. Check to make sure the correct circuit breaker is off if a voltage is detected.

Twist the wires to disconnect the switch from the wall. Remove the dimmer switch from the packaging.

Attach the ground wire on the dimmer switch to the green or copper wire in the wall by twisting the ends together. Secure the wires, using a wire nut. Connect the rest of the wires on the dimmer switch to the wires in the wall in the same way. Follow the directions on the dimmer switch package if any questions about installation arise.

Push or tuck the wires into the switch opening. Push the new dimmer switch into the opening and screw it into place, using the two screws.

Attach the light-switch cover to the wall, making sure it fits properly over the dimmer switch. Flip the circuit breaker to the "On" position and turn on the dimmer switch to make sure it works correctly.


Cut off the twisted ends of the wires with a wire stripper if the wires are bent at an angle. Install a bigger switch box in the wall if the current one is too small for the new dimmer switch.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire cutter
  • Voltage tester
  • Dimmer switch
  • Switch-plate cover
  • Screws
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