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Wall cutout for new electrical box with wires protruding

Add Wall Dimmer and New 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 Light and 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 used a long thin screwdriver inserted along side of the switch box to feel for any obstacles such as pipes or wood studs.  A short piece of fish tape can also be used for probing into a wall. I removed the existing one gang plastic switch box and cut a hole for a new two gang plastic old work switch box. The existing black switch leg wire was temporarily identified with green electrical tape.  The other black wires get spliced together.  The wood stud on the left side of this wall opening is perfect for attaching the new two gang plastic old work electrical box for additional support. The access hole in the wall and the access hole in the ceiling were made using "The Grabowski Method" (Hold the Saw at a 45 degree angle) to facilitate the installation of a new wire to feed the new light fixture. A large hole is needed to fit the Milwaukee right angle drill into the wall to drill up into the top support plate. 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. This hole was made using "The Grabowski Method" of cutting holes in drywall. You simply hold your compass saw at a forty five degree angle inward when cutting to give you a beveled edge. This makes it much easier to patch the hole using the same piece of cut out drywall and some joint compound. Lately I have been using my Milwaukee Cordless Multi-Oscillating Tool to cut such holes. The above view is the inside of the wall through the hole in the previous photo.  The big hole in the wall was needed to accommodate the big angle drill and a long auger drill bit. 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. The...