Light dimmers make any room feel better. I was really excited when Lutron Electronics sent me a beautiful digital light dimmer. But I have a DIY confession: usually anything in front of a wall I change or update without a problem, but anything behind a wall: plumbing, electrical, structural, I am scared to touch. I am so happy to report that in spite of my behind-walls-phobia this dimmer installation was surprisingly easy! Our home has a light dimmer above the kitchen table and I love it… although low-lit dinners with four kids in tow are not a common occurrence. I do, however, dim the lights and read Halloween books on fall evenings (try this, it’s so fun).
When the dimmer arrived I knew immediately I wanted to use it in the master bedroom. My bedroom is on my to do list this year, I plan to make my boring mumbo-jumbo room (see it here, but beware, it’s awful) into something spectacular. The master, like every other room, has a ceiling fan. I am well aware that ceiling fans are not all the rage for designers. But, I live in a desert and you couldn’t pay me to take one out, I don’t care what it looks like. My first question was, can you install a dimmer onto a light with a ceiling fan? I am happy to report that YES you can! Ha! You learn something new each day.
In addition to following the instructions included, a couple of references that helped me out:
- Lutron has a great installation video on their page for dimmers & switches. I watched it through once, then set my laptop on the dresser by the light switch and followed along, pausing between steps. The video is three minutes, and while pausing on each step it took me only 22 minutes to install the dimmer. Pretty speedy for a first timer!
- If you’re wondering what kind of light bulbs can be used, Lutron has helpful info that I referred to. Turns out the light bulbs I already had worked great.
So! I learned to remove wires from a switch (if your switch looks like mine) there’s this ridiculously tiny button that says in ridiculously tiny print “push here to release wire”. I think 10 of the 22 installation minutes was trying to figure this out. When I finally saw the instruction I used a mini allen wrench, pushed the hole, and the wire came out easily.
When I was done I felt completely amazing so I turned the breaker back on and herded the kiddos into the room for the big reveal… flipped the switch… and NOTHING! Not only did my new dimmer not light up, but none of the power in the room worked at all. The crickets started to chirp in the dark. If this happens, don’t worry, electrical 101 is apparently everything is interconnected. This discovery occurred as my hubby walked through the door from work. I greeted him with something like, “hi babe! welcome home, dinner is ready in 10 minutes, i finally cleaned the fridge, and oh ya… we don’t have power in the master room.” To which he replied unsurprised, “great to be home honey.”
So after dinner, I panicked a little that I had shot our electrical everything, but I just retraced the steps and discovered one of my wires was too loose. No biggy really, novice mistake. I tightened it and Voilà! Beauty all around. (Yes, it is white and the wall plate is cream. I left it like that for contrast, but I will change it out now that I know how!) I like the upgrade so much I’m now thinking of installing an occupancy sensor in our half bathroom, the light in there is on like an eternal flame.
In stark contrast, while I was in the bedroom creating ambiance and luxury my bff was in the kitchen making chocolate covered bacon. Not kidding.
It stunk so bad I was happy to stay away and play with all the dimmer glory. I keep switching the light on and off and ooing and ahhing as it gradually lightens up and then softly dims out, pausing whenever I wanted to for mood and effect. It really is so fun. And it has given me the push I needed to get going on the rest of the master bedroom. Thomas Edison would be so proud. Thanks Lutron for a great product and a beautiful upgrade!
Happy Creating everyone!