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Check the Wattage Before You Install a Dimmer Switch

Not all dimmer switches are the same, and if you buy one that's not rated for the total wattage of the lights it controls, you could have problems. Check the fine print before you buy.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Read the labels

If you’re installing a dimmer switch, keep in mind that each switch is rated to handle a maximum wattage. If you’re trying to dim six 100-watt lightbulbs, use a switch rated for at least 600 watts. Newer models are fairly generous with their allowances (usually about 600 watts), but that won’t cut it if you’re trying to dim seven 100-watt bulbs.

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Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Dimmer switch

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