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Dimmer Switch Cost Guide

Dimmer switches are electrical components that allow homeowners to easily adjust the light levels in their residence by sliding a level or turning a knob. These switches are small enough to fit into a regular wall box that is supplied for a standard switch. Dimmer switches can be installed during the initial home construction or can replace a standard switch at any time. Fortunately, dimmer switches can generally be installed within a few hours.

The Costs

  • Minimum cost of dimmer switches: $13.50 per unit
  • Maximum cost of dimmer switches: $40.50 per unit

The cost of dimmer switches can vary widely based upon the manufacturer and quality of the switch. The more expensive dimmer switches often include features such as a decorative styles and finish options. It is also important to consider the labor and supply costs that are required to install these switches. The total labor costs for the installation of a dimmer switch range from approximately $58 to $135 per job. These labor costs normally include the setup for the job as well as any surface touch-up and cleaning upon completion of the job. However, these figures do not include any costs that may be associated with the installation or repairs to the electrical supply circuit or changes to the room structure to accommodate the dimmer switch. Other miscellaneous costs include the supplies and necessary tools that may be required to complete the installation, which run roughly between $37 and $43.

Materials for Dimmer Switch Installation

In addition to the actual dimmer unit and the dimmer wall plate if applicable, materials required for the installation of a dimmer switch include wire connector nuts, electrical tape and mounting hardware. There are also several tools that are necessary for the installation:

  • Long-nose pliers
  • A Phillips head screwdriver
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • A voltage tester

Advantages of Dimmer Switches

The primary benefit to dimmer switches is the significant cost savings compared to a standard switch. When dimming a light in a room, the amount of electricity sent to a particular light fixture is reduced. Therefore, the electricity bill for that particular light fixture is reduced anywhere from 10 to 90%. Another major benefit to dimmer switches is that they allow a homeowner to control how much light is provided in any given room or space. The light fixtures can be dimmed or brightened with precision to set the mood or for any other reason.

Dimmer switches extend the lifetime of a light bulb because a dimmed light eventually allows the bulb to last longer. By using a standard switch, light fixtures with a typical incandescent light bulb often last less than a year. However, a dimmer switch can allow that identical bulb to last up to three or four years. Dimmer switches are versatile because they can be used in any room in the home as well as on many various types of light fixtures. These include everything from lamps and ceiling fixtures to under-cabinet lighting.

Dimmer switches can be installed to function with a remote control. Therefore, a homeowner can change the lighting in any given room on different light fixtures by simply pressing a button on the remote control.

Disadvantages of Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches may not work with each of the lights in a home. Therefore, homeowners must research each individual fixture to confirm that a dimmer switch is safe to use with that particular fixture. Otherwise, the homeowner must replace the fixture or just keep the standard light switch.

The installation of dimmer switches is electrical work, so many homeowners may not be comfortable installing the switches on their own. A professional may need to be hired to install the dimmer switches in any of the desired locations throughout the home.

Last updated on May 19, 2016

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