A BRIGHT IDEA – INSTALLING A DIMMER SWITCH

Ashley has been busy upgrading our office with blue chairs and project boards, but there was one piece that I had been promising to contribute for quite a while. Ever since Ashley’s Grandpa installed a dimmer switch in Mya’s room, she has been wanting to outfit our guest room and office with them as well. It’s silly how long she’s been waiting on me to get around to it since you can swap them out in under 10 minutes, so I must say she’s been a very patient lady.

PreInstall

We picked up a couple of Lutron dimmers at Home Depot. The overhead lights in our office and guest room are excessively bright and can put off some heat if you have the door closed (Mya’s room is across the hall from the office, so we’re closed in pretty much anytime we work in there at night). Our main intent was to take care of these two nuisances, but the potential energy and cost savings (according to Lutron) are also a perk!

Dimming the Lights Saves Electricity Extends Bulb Life
10% 10% 2x longer
25% 20% 4x longer
50% 40% 20x longer
75% 60% 20x longer

Install

BE SAFE – TURN POWER OFF AT THE BREAKER BEFORE BEGINNING

Once you get the power turned off, install is a breeze. Remove the face plate and the old switch by removing the mounting screws and disconnecting the wires (two insulated wires and one ground wire).

Install2

Once the old switch is removed, reconnect the wires to the new dimmer. Both of our switches used screw terminals, so the wires didn’t need to be altered before reconnecting. Connect the ground wire (bare copper or green) first by looping around the green ground screw. Follow that with the two insulated wires. These can be connected to either screw terminal, but I used the same positions as the old switch for good measure. Mount the new switch into position (if you have multiple switches, use the face plate as a guide to ensure the new switch is properly aligned before tightening into place). Finally, replace the switch plate and turn the power back on at the breaker.

BeforeAfter

It’s a simple upgrade, but makes a huge difference. Now we can enjoy working in our office with the perfect amount of light and without turning it into a sauna.

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