How to Wire a 3 Way Dimmer Switch for Perfect Lighting Every Time
How do you wire a 3 way dimmer switch? If you’re trying to get the most out of your lighting, it’s important to know how to wire a 3 way dimmer switch correctly. Incorrect wiring can damage your expensive bulbs or cause them to burn out early and even start electrical fires. This guide walks you through how to wire a three way dimmer switch with multiple lights to provide the perfect lighting in your home or office.
The Power Source
You’ll need to start by finding the power source for your switch. This is usually a circuit breaker in your main electrical panel. Once you’ve located the appropriate breaker, turn it off so you may work on the wiring without danger of electrocution.
Now go back and shut off the breakers supplying power to any other fixtures in this area. Now that all sources of electricity are cut off, it’s time to get started with installing your new dimmer!
To wire a 3 way dimmer switch, you’ll need to:
- Connect the ground wire, usually green or bare copper, to the green or copper screw on the switch.
- Join the black wire from the power supply to the switch’s brass screw.
- Connect the black wire from the light fixture to the other brass screw on the switch.
- Connect all black wires with one wire nut to the brass screw if multiple lights exist in the circuit.
- Connect one of the white wires from each light fixture to one of the silver screws on the switch using a wire nut and tighten them down securely.
- Connect another white wire from each light fixture to another silver screw using a wire nut and securely tighten them.
- Finally, use electrical tape to cover any exposed connections where the wires meet. Now your wiring should be complete!
To wire a three way dimmer switch, you will need two switches that are not connected. The first switch will be connected to the power source, and the second switch will be connected to the light. The third switch will be placed between the two switches and used to control the light.
To wire the switches, you need to connect the black wire from the first switch to the black wire from the second switch. You will also need to connect the white wire from the first switch to the white wire from the second switch.
Finally, you should attach one of the wires coming out of your third (middle) switch to either of these wires (the middle set is easier). If you are unsure which wires you should use, consult an electrician or do some research online on how to install a 3-way dimmer switch with multiple lights.
Types of Dimmer Switches
Dimmer switches are classified into two types: rotary and slide. Rotary dimmer switches are the most common type. They have a knob that you turn to dim or brighten the light. Slide dimmer switches are less common. They have a lever that you slide up and down to dim or brighten the light. Both types of dimmer switches can be used with LED lights, but slide dimmers are not recommended for use with CFL lights.
Factors to Consider When Buying Dimmer Switches
- The type of lighting you have in your home: incandescent, halogen, LED, or CFL.
- The number of lights you want to be able to control with the dimmer switch.
- Do you want a single-pole or three-way dimmer switch?
- The wattage rating of the dimmer switch (this is especially important if you have LED lights).
- The voltage rating of the dimmer switch; 120 volts will work on both 110 and 220 volts.
- How close are the switches to one another? Three-way switches should be placed at least four feet apart, while two-way switches can be as close as six inches apart.