Set the Mood and Save Energy: Installing a Smart Dimmer Switch
Who doesn’t enjoy a little mood lighting? Since their invention in 1959, light dimmers have been transforming our spaces. They’ve come a long way since then. Today, with the development of smart devices, controlling your lighting has never been easier. Just press a button on your phone, and voilà, you’ve got total control of your lighting and other smart devices without even getting off the couch.
But smart dimmers offer more than just convenience. They are a key tool in energy conservation as well, typically helping to reduce electricity consumption by 5–25%. They can even extend the lifespan of your light bulbs, too. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps to install your own smart dimmer switch, making your home both more comfortable and sustainable.
What You’ll Need
- Smart Dimmer Switch with Wire Caps
- Screwdrivers (Phillips and Flathead)
- Electrical Pliers
- Voltage Tester
- Smart Home System (e.g., Hubspace)
- Optional: Wire Stripper
Before You Start
- Choose Your Dimmer: Consider factors like the type of light (LED, incandescent, etc.) and the number of switches you’re upgrading. Depending on your needs, you may consider additional features like voice or motion activation. There are plenty of options to choose from, so pick what’s right for you.
- Many older dimmers are not compatible with LED light bulbs and can cause lights to “flicker” when used. Upgrading to LED-compatible dimmers will help avoid annoying light flicker.
- Decide Where to Install: Evaluate your home and see where you’d like to place your dimmer switch(es). Using dimmers in more occupied spaces like the living room or kitchen can make a space cozier at night. And using them in spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms can aid winding down at bedtime and lessen the shock of bright light early in the morning. It’s up to you – your home is your oyster here.
- Safety Check: Ensure your voltage tester works correctly before you use it to prevent any electrical hazards.
- Safety First: Turn off the power to the switch at your circuit breaker. Double-check with your voltage tester to confirm the power is off. If you don’t have a voltage tester, be sure to check that the light switch is not working once you’ve turned off the power.
- Remove the Old Switch: Unscrew the wall plate and remove the old switch from the wall box. You’ll see several wires protruding from the wall – this is normal. If wires are entirely covered with plastic coating, you can use wire strippers to expose the tips for twisting during the next step.
- Wiring the Dimmer:
- Connect the green wire (ground) from the dimmer to the green or bare copper wire in the wall using a wire cap.
- Attach the black wire from the dimmer to the black wire from the bottom of the wall socket. Seal with a wire cap.
- Link the red wire from the dimmer to the black wire from the top of the wall socket. Seal with a wire cap.
- Combine the white wire from the dimmer with all other white wires using a wire cap.
- Install the Dimmer: Mount your new dimmer and its faceplate onto the wall socket and secure it with screws.
- Power Up: Turn the power to your light switch back on in your circuit breaker.
- Set Up Smart Features: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect your new dimmer to your Hubspace or smart home system. Once connected, you can control your new dimmer from your smart device, as well as outlets, exterior lights and any number of smart-enabled devices.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your smart dimmer switch. We know you’ll enjoy the enhanced ambiance of your home, the savings on your electric and light bulb costs, and the satisfaction of contributing to a more sustainable world. Enjoy your new, adjustable lighting and the many benefits it brings!
- Electrical Pliers
- Screwdriver Sets
- Voltage Tester
- Wire Stripper
- Smart Dimmer Switch