How do you wire a double dimmer switch: A step-by-step guide

In this step-by-step guide, we will explore how to wire a double dimmer switch, providing you with the necessary knowledge and instructions to successfully install and operate this convenient lighting control device. From understanding the essential components and tools required, to the exact process of wiring and connecting the switch, this article will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to wire a double dimmer switch effectively and efficiently.

Gather The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before starting the process of wiring a double dimmer switch, it is essential to gather all the necessary tools and materials. This will ensure that you have everything you need to complete the task efficiently. Here are some tools and materials you will need:

1. Screwdriver – to remove the switch plate and switch from the wall.
2. Wire strippers – to remove the insulation from the wires.
3. Voltage tester – to ensure the power supply is turned off before beginning work.
4. Double dimmer switch – make sure it is the appropriate type for your needs.
5. Wire connectors – to join the wires securely.
6. Electrical tape – to insulate the exposed wires.
7. Wire nuts – to connect the wires to the switch.
8. Marker or labels – to mark the wires for easy identification.

Having all these tools and materials ready will save you time and frustration during the installation process. Make sure to follow safety precautions and consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific requirements of your double dimmer switch.

Turn Off The Power Supply

Before beginning the process of wiring a double dimmer switch, it is crucial to ensure your safety by turning off the power supply. Locate the circuit breaker panel and find the switch that controls the power to the room where the double dimmer switch will be installed. Flip the switch to the “off” position to cut off the electricity.

This step is essential as it eliminates the risk of electrical shock while handling exposed wires. It also prevents damage to the switch and any connected devices during the installation process. Double-check that the power is off by attempting to turn on the lights affected by the switch.

Remember, working with electricity can be dangerous, so always prioritize your safety by utilizing appropriate safety gear and following proper procedures.

Remove The Existing Switch Plate And Switch From The Wall

When wiring a double dimmer switch, the first step is to remove the existing switch plate and switch from the wall. To do this, ensure that you have turned off the power supply to the switch at the breaker box.

Using a flathead screwdriver, gently pry the switch plate away from the wall. Be careful not to damage the surrounding wall or any wires behind the switch plate. Once the switch plate is removed, you will see the switch itself attached to the electrical box.

Next, use a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the switch from the electrical box. You will typically find two screws holding the switch in place. Once the screws are removed, carefully pull the switch away from the electrical box.

At this point, you will be able to see the wires connected to the switch. Take note of how the wires are connected before proceeding to the next step. It’s a good idea to take a picture or make a drawing for future reference.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when working with electricity. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with any step of the process, it’s best to consult a professional electrician.

Identify The Wires And Mark Them Accordingly

When wiring a double dimmer switch, it is crucial to identify the wires correctly to ensure a safe and accurate installation. Before proceeding with any wiring, turn off the power supply to the switch at the circuit breaker. Once the power is off, remove the existing switch plate and switch from the wall.

To identify the wires, carefully study their colors and functions. The common wire is typically black, while the traveler wires are often red and blue. It’s essential to mark these wires accordingly for proper connection to the new double dimmer switch.

Using colored electrical tape or labeling them with permanent markers, mark the wires with labels that indicate their role, such as “common,” “traveler,” or “load.” This step will prevent confusion during the wiring process and make it easier to connect the wires correctly to the new switch.

Remember that each house may have a different wiring setup, so it’s essential to double-check and ensure the accurate identification of the wires before proceeding to the next step.

Connect The Wires To The New Double Dimmer Switch

When wiring a double dimmer switch, it is crucial to connect the wires correctly to ensure the proper functioning of the switch. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Start by identifying the wires you marked earlier. Typically, you will have two live wires (one from the power supply and the other leading to the lights), two neutral wires, and two ground wires. In some cases, there might also be two load wires if you are controlling two separate sets of lights.

2. Strip the ends of the wires to expose a small section of copper. Take your time to do this carefully, ensuring you don’t damage the wire.

3. Attach the live wire from the power supply to the common terminal on the double dimmer switch. The common terminal is usually labeled with a different color or with the letter “C.”

4. Connect the wire leading to the lights to the “load” terminal on the switch. If you have two light sets, connect each wire to a separate load terminal.

5. Connect the two neutral wires to the neutral terminal on the switch. Make sure they are securely fastened.

6. Finally, attach the ground wires to the ground terminal, ensuring a tight connection.

By following these steps, you will successfully connect the wires to your new double dimmer switch, setting the stage for secure and reliable lighting control. Remember to double-check your connections before proceeding to the next step.

Secure The Double Dimmer Switch To The Wall

Once you have connected all the wires to the new double dimmer switch, it’s time to secure it to the wall. Follow these steps to ensure a secure installation:

1. Take the double dimmer switch and align it with the screw holes on the electrical box in the wall.
2. Insert the mounting screws into the provided screw holes on the switch and tighten them using a screwdriver. Double-check that the switch is securely fastened to the wall.
3. Gently tug on the switch to make sure it is firmly attached and doesn’t move.
4. Verify that the switch is level by using a bubble level tool or by checking its alignment with the surrounding wall plates.
5. If the switch feels loose or wobbly, double-check the mounting screws and tighten them if necessary.
6. Once you are certain that the double dimmer switch is securely mounted, proceed to the next step of testing its functionality.

Securing the double dimmer switch properly ensures it remains stable and safe during regular use. Taking the time to double-check the mounting can prevent any potential hazards or issues in the future.

Test The Functionality Of The Double Dimmer Switch

Once you have connected all the wires to the new double dimmer switch and secured it to the wall, it’s important to test its functionality before completing the installation. Testing the switch will ensure that everything is wired correctly and that the dimmer function works as intended.

To test the double dimmer switch, follow these steps:

1. Turn on the power supply at the circuit breaker.
2. Carefully press the dimmer switch buttons or slide the dimmer sliders up and down to adjust the lighting levels.
3. Observe if the lights connected to the switch respond accordingly, dimming or brightening in response to your adjustments.
4. Check all the lights connected to the double dimmer switch individually to ensure they are all working correctly.
5. If any of the lights do not respond or if there are any issues with the dimmer function, turn off the power supply and recheck your wiring connections.
6. Once you are satisfied with the functionality of the double dimmer switch, you can proceed to replace the switch plate and turn on the power supply.

Taking the time to test the switch will ensure that you have successfully wired the double dimmer switch and that it is operating safely and effectively.

Replace The Switch Plate And Turn On The Power Supply

After successfully wiring the double dimmer switch, it is time to wrap up the installation process. Start by replacing the switch plate on the wall. Align the screw holes of the switch plate with those on the switch and firmly tighten the screws. Ensure that the switch plate is securely attached to the wall.

Once the switch plate is in place, it’s time to turn on the power supply. Head over to the main electrical panel and locate the breaker that corresponds to the circuit you were working on. Flip the breaker switch back to the “On” position to restore power to the double dimmer switch.

After restoring the power supply, test the double dimmer switch by turning it on and adjusting the dimming levels. Ensure that both switches are functioning correctly and the lighting is responding as desired. If any issues arise, immediately turn off the power supply again and revisit the installation process to identify and rectify the problem.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can confidently wire a double dimmer switch and enhance the lighting control in your space.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Can I wire a double dimmer switch myself?

Yes, wiring a double dimmer switch is a task that can be performed by most DIY enthusiasts. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of electrical wiring and safety precautions. If you are unsure or lack experience, it is recommended to consult a licensed electrician.

FAQ 2: What tools do I need to wire a double dimmer switch?

To wire a double dimmer switch, you will need a few essential tools, including a voltage tester, wire strippers, screwdrivers (both flathead and Phillips), electrical tape, and pliers. It is also advisable to have wire nuts and a utility knife handy for any necessary electrical connections.

FAQ 3: What are the general steps for wiring a double dimmer switch?

The steps for wiring a double dimmer switch typically include the following:
1. Ensure the power is turned off at the breaker panel before starting any work.
2. Remove the existing switch plate cover and switch from the electrical box.
3. Identify the different wires and their functions, including hot/live, neutral, and ground wires.
4. Connect the ground wire from the dimmer switch to the grounding wire in the electrical box.
5. Attach the hot/live wire(s) from the electrical box to the dimmer switch.
6. Connect the load wires, usually marked as “output” on the switch, to the appropriate wires for the lights or fixtures.
7. Securely fasten all wire connections using wire nuts and electrical tape, ensuring no exposed wires are visible.
8. Carefully tuck the wires back into the electrical box, avoiding any pinching or sharp bends.
9. Attach the double dimmer switch to the electrical box using screws.
10. Finally, install the new switch plate cover, restore power at the breaker panel, and test the dimmer switch to ensure proper functionality.


In conclusion, wiring a double dimmer switch is a relatively straightforward process that can be accomplished by following a few simple steps. By ensuring the power is turned off, identifying the specific wires, connecting them properly, and securing the switch in place, homeowners can successfully install a double dimmer switch to enhance the lighting control in their space. It is important to remember to follow safety guidelines and consult professionals if unsure about any aspect of the installation process. Overall, with the right precautions and attention to detail, anyone can wire a double dimmer switch and enjoy the benefits of customizable lighting.

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