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mi_sanders 12-09-2007 07:21 PM

2 Dimmers/switches, one source, help please
1 Attachment(s)
Hi all, first time poster.

I am attaching a pic of what I have.

Kitchen pot lights, they were regular, burning all the time, changed them to energy saver fluorescent flood lights. There was a dimmer before, I know these lights do not work with a dimmer, but I still kept the dimmer, it works, just does not dim. I added pot lights under my cabinets, added a second dimmer, I did the wiring, nothing blew up, but did not work as I expected. I took everything off so far, do not want to experiment with live wires.

I guess I should change the first dimmer to a regular switch?? If I do have to change it, can I assume the wiring wont change for the switch instead of the dimmer?

Btw, I am in Canada, Toronto if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance.


AllanJ 12-09-2007 08:17 PM

Simply remove the two wires from the dimmer and connect those same two wires to a standard two screw switch (single pole 2-way switch).

Do you remember how the red wire was connected? You will need to know that before re-assembling everything.

The P1 and L1 whites are neutrals and should be connected together. The L1 black feeds both of the switches using D1 and D3 respectively. D2 provides switched power to the P1 black.

If I assume the remaining black and red wires go to different lights all to be controlled by the same switch, connect them both to D4. Then the white for C1 would be a neutral and connected to the other whites. But you must be sure of this before making these connections.

goose134 12-09-2007 08:19 PM

You CAN get dimmable CFL's for the can lights. As for the undercabinets, I'm not sure what you mean by "not working as expected". If you want to see if they work without the dimmer, just twist the hot and switch leg together, and turn on the circuit.

mi_sanders 12-09-2007 09:58 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Originally it was connected like this: 1 dimmer, kitchen ceiling pot lights.

White L1 + White C1
Red C1 + Black D4
Black L1 + Black C1 + Black D3

AllanJ: The only thing seems confusing me is that you mentioned to connect
Black C1 and Red C1 together.

Does the original wiring description change what you recommended?


dimmable CFL's are pretty expansive, I guess with under cabinet lighting, don't really need those to be dimmed, I just change the switch to a regular one and also by not working correctly, with the way I had the wiring done, pot lights under cabinets would not turn off at all, and kitchen ceiling lights even though they are CFL type, they were acting like dimmable.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.


AllanJ 12-10-2007 09:08 AM

Given your original wiring, the new wiring should go as follows:

All three whites connected together.

Red C1 (switch controlled ceiling lights) to the old switch D4 same as before

Black L1 and black C1 (unswitched power going elsewhere in the ceiling) and black D3 connected the same as before but add to them the new black D1.

Black P1 to the new switch D2

Unpredictable things happen if you use a dimmer with a lamp not intended for a dimmer. You might get some dimming, or you might get funny noises, or you might see the light go out suddenly with the dimmer halfway, and it is not unusual to get overheating.

goose134 12-10-2007 07:48 PM

Man, I don't know if it's my monitor or my eyeballs but I just couldn't read the diagram provided. Anyways, I haven't priced dimmable CFL but I can believe that they are pricey. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

mi_sanders 12-12-2007 01:16 PM

Just to let everyone know it worked. Wife is happy once again :thumbup:

AllanJ and goose134, thanks so much for all your help.


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