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Wayne Roberts
Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  Electrican 6+ years
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I want to switch a normal double light switch with a dimmer

Customer Question

Hi! I want to switch a normal double light switch with a dimmer switch. It is a two gang switch. (1) is a simple on off for a single ceiling light. (2) is a three way on off for the stairway lights (by three way I mean it has three switches that turn it on and off on different levels). I have switched others that were easy. This one is wired so that there is a L1 top and L1 bottom and a L2 top and L2 bottom. I don't know how to wire that. Can you help? Chris
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

ok, Im from US but i think i can help you, how many terminals does the new dimmer switch have? IE how many wire attachments can be made on the new dimmer 3 or 4?

Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

and is this wiring diagram helpful to you?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I looked it up and the problem is that the switch that is part of the three switch 2-way is the intermediate switch. Take a look at this diagram http://www.lightwiring.co.uk/tag/intermediate-switch-wiring/
The one I want to replace is the middle one. It just has L1 top and bottom and L2 too and bottom not the typical L1 L2 and COM setup. Can an intermediate switch be replaced with a conventional dimmer?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
These are all very UK switch questions--when I found this website I did not realise it was for the U.S. Mostly if not only. So I am also happy to just leave it at that.
Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

sounds good, hope you get it straight :)

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The dimmer I have has just three options L1 L2 and COM so I do not know at all how to wire it. Please think about it. If you really think you can help I would be happy to give it a try.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I just saw that you deferred the question. That is fine. Thanks!
Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

Hello, If you have only 3 terminals it would be best if you selected either of the other two boxes (or switches). It seems you found the middle switch. If you open either of the other two boxes that control that one light you may be pleasantly surprised to find only 3 wires :)

Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

Would relocation of the dimmer be acceptable? It is by far the easier alternative.

Expert:  Wayne Roberts replied 11 months ago.

OR you could trade in your current dimmer for a (4 way switch in US) switch with the four terminals. It works the same here, we just call it different things.

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