Details and Photos About Adding a Dimmer and Ceiling Light Fixture
Dear Mr. Electrician: Is it possible to install an additional dimmer next to an existing one and connect a new ceiling light to the new dimmer?
Answer: Yes. However the methods used to achieve this type of installation will vary according to your building structure and the location of the switches and light fixtures. Below are photos of a simple dimmer and ceiling light installation in a two story condominium. Text links go to applicable products on Amazon.com
An Example of a Light and Additional Dimmer Switch Installed in an Existing Wall
You need to determine where you will be getting power from and where do you want the wall switch to be located. In the example on this page I was lucky to find power in an existing wall switch where the client wanted the additional switch located. Not all wall switches have a hot and a neutral. Some just have a hot and a switch leg which cannot be used to feed something else.
I removed the existing one gang plastic switch box and cut a hole for a new two gang plastic old work switch box.
I did have to cut holes in the ceiling and the wall to facilitate the installation of a new 14/2 Romex cable to the new light fixture location. I cut the holes at a 45 degree angle inward to make it easy for patching later.
I had to drill a hole using my angle drill to penetrate the top supporting plate in the wall to get the new Romex cable into the ceiling.
Because this ceiling was supported by trusses instead of solid wood joists I was able to get my fish tape through very easily after the holes were made.
I have several pieces of short fish tape which had broken off of my longer fish tapes. The short fish tapes come in handy for small jobs like this.
In most cases I would have used a fan rated ceiling box and installed a 14/3 cable for future fan use. However this light fixture installation was in a small nook next to the dining room. It was not likely that a ceiling fan would ever be wanted there.
Everything metal must be grounded. Because I used a metal box and grounded it, the round fixture mounting bracket is grounded by being physically attached to the ceiling box. If the ceiling box was plastic it would have been necessary to install a ground wire onto the green screw on the mounting bracket. The light fixture ground wire will connect to the ground wire in the ceiling electrical box.
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