Install a Dimmer – Selecting and Understanding Dimmers

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,562
    Home Maintenance Expert Steve McCurdy discusses selecting and understanding dimmers.

    Steve Mccurdy :Hi, this is Steve McCurdy from Leviton Manufacturing. And I am here today to talk about installing a dimmer in your home. Now one of the most important things in selecting the proper dimmer for your application is to double-check the type of lighting fixtures you're going to be controlling and also the wattage that those fixtures include. For example, this is an incandescent lighting fixture. In that case, there are 340 white bulbs that are in there. Now the dimmer you select should be size for that application. Most products in the market today like this one have all of that information on the packaging. It will tell you the voltage that it's used on, the maximum wattage that the thing is used on and whether it's appropriate for a single pole or a 3-Way application or both. So double-check those before you start your project. Now once you have verified that you have the right dimmer, let's take a look at the basic parts that make up this dimmer. Now in this case, this is a Leviton Vizia Plus dimmer and It does come in multiple colors in the package. So, it makes it convenient for any decor. This is what's called called the back and side wire dimmer. Therefore there is no conductors that are on this dimmer. We'll just simply be attaching this to the wires that are in the junction box. Now a dimmer like this is what's called Decorous Styling and you have a line connection and a load connection. Now, you'll notice that on the side of the dimmer here, there is two other termination. One is for the ever important ground, for safety reasons. But secondly is, where this tape is, this particular dimmer is also suitable for 3-Way applications. So in our application here right now, we're only using it as a single pole application. So, we well we don't require this terminal, so leave that tape right on it. Now, there is another part of the dimmer here, which surrounds and it's called the heat sink. Now, in multi-gang applications where you have two or more dimmers in a junction box. This heat sink requires you to derate the dimmer appropriately.

    Now make sure you refer to the manufacturer's instructions for how that derating works. Now that's the basics for a dimmer and how to select the proper one for your job. Now let's get started and install this dimmer in the wall.