How to Install a Standard Switch From a Dimmer Switch

Dimmer switches allow you to control the intensity and brightness of the light to a fixture. They're useful in dining, living, and media rooms and other areas where you need to set a mood or add an ambiance. In some situations however, like bathrooms, closets, or hallways for example, you're not as likely to need to control the level of light. If an area in your house has an unnecessary dimmer switch, it is a simple and straightforward task to replace it with a standard switch.

Dimmer switches are useful, but only in certain rooms.

Step 1

Turn the power to the room you're working in OFF. In the circuit breaker box, select the breaker switch that controls the room and turn it to the off position.

A circuit tester will read zero voltage if the power to the switch is off.

Using a slotted screwdriver, remove the two screws that secure the dimmer switch cover plate to the wall. Inside the switch box, test the two black wires attached to the dimmer switch with a circuit tester to make sure the power is off.

This switch box has space for two switches; yours may only have one.

Remove the two screws at the top and bottom of the dimmer switch that secure it to the switch box. Pull the dimmer switch out of the box and away from the wall.

Wire splice connectors are also referred to as wire nuts.

Remove the wire splice connectors that attach the two wires from the dimmer switch to the hot wires in the switch box. Hold the splice connector at the top, then turn it counterclockwise off the wires.

Step 5

Loosen the screw at the bottom of the dimmer switch that holds the bare, ground wire with a Phillips head screwdriver. Remove the dimmer switch from the switch box.

Step 6

Take the bare, ground wire and wrap it once around the green screw at the bottom of the new switch with the needle-nose pliers. Turn the screw clockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver to secure it.

Step 7

Take one of the black wires previously attached to the dimmer switch and wrap it once around one of the brass screws at the side of the new switch. One of these wires is the hot wire from the circuit breaker, the other is the hot wire to the light fixture. It does not matter which wire you choose. Tighten the screw to secure the wire with a slotted screwdriver.

Step 8

Attach the remaining black wire to the other brass screw on the switch as you did in step 7.

Step 9

Push the new switch into the switch box and secure the retaining screws with a slotted screwdriver. Install the cover plate and tighten the screws with a slotted screwdriver.

Step 10

Turn the power on in the circuit breaker box and test the new switch by operating it on and off.