Adding a Dimmer Switch to a Ceiling Fan Adding a Dimmer Switch to a Ceiling Fan

What You'll Need
New dimmer switch
Yellow wire caps
New face plate for dimmer switch


Many homeowners are finding new ways of creating ambiance to rooms in their homes. One way that is a becoming a favorite is to use a dimmer switch that allows you to change the amount of illumination from a ceiling fan light. You can install one of these dimmers in just minutes, using the easy 5-step plan below.

Step 1. Choosing your dimmer switch

Select the type of switch you prefer--slider switch or knob switch. These and other kinds of dimmers are available in most home improvement stores. Some include faceplates that come in a variety of styles and colors. If you plan to buy one of these dimmers be sure you find out whether a wall plate is included. If not, you will need to buy a separate plate that suits your taste.

Step 2.  Shutting off electrical power

Avoid possible electrical shocks by turning off power at your circuit breaker. Once you have turned the proper switch to the "off" position you can insure that you've turned the right switch by turning on the switch you plan to replace. If in turning this switch to its "on" position, the ceiling fan that the switch controls fails to come on, that will tell you that you've properly turned off the power.

Step 3.  Removing The Old Switch

Remove the existing wall plate covering the old switch. If you plan to use this same wall plate, place it, with its screws, in a nearby spot where you can easily find it. Then, remove the 2 screws that hold the switch in place. These screws may be needed if the new switch does not supply them, so put them also in a secure place. Now, remove the old switch from the electrical box and loosen the screws that hold the black, white and ground wires.

Step 4. Connecting The New Switch

If you find electrical wires hanging loose from the new switch, use a wire nut to connect the white wire from this switch to the white wire that had connected to your old switch. If one or both of these wires is bent into a tight loop you will need to either straighten the loop out of the wire or cut it off so a straight bare wire is remaining. Now, connect the two black wires and the two ground wires, using the same procedure as you did with the white wires.

Step 5  Attaching The New Switch

Reattach your new dimmer switch to the electrical box by replacing the screws you removed from the old switch. Screw the wall face plate onto the switch.

Now its time to test the new switch. Turn the circuit breaker switch on again, return to your new switch and give it a try. You, your family members and your guests will all enjoy the new effect this dimmer switch will give you.

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