I am installing a new Leviton Dimmer Switch (model number DW1KD) to replace a normal wall switch. My electrical to the existing switch has only two black wires (I do know which is hot), and a ground wire. The Leviton Dimmer has 5 wires, but only 4 (black, white, green and red) are required to be connected for a single pole install. My dilemma is, where does the red wire go? Currently I have the hot black cable connected to the black wire on the dimmer, the white to the other black neutral wire, and the green to ground. This does power the switch itself, but does not turn on the light. Can anybody tell me how to hook up the red wire in this instance??? Thanks in advance for your help!!

1 Answer 1


From the description provided for the existing old switch it sounds like that was wired as a simple switch loop. As such there is no NEUTRAL in the switch box. The HOT black lead is bringing the line into the box and the other black wire is connecting out to the load (light). That load black wire may actually be a white wire that has been sleeved with a black tubing, painted black or taped with black electrical tape.

From the installation sheet for the DW1KD the switch is a smart switch and will require a NEUTRAL in order for it to function.

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You will not be able to get this to work with the existing wiring. Since the HOT is clearly off in the electrical box at the light you will have to work out running a new cable from the light box to the switch box that has a four conductors (HOT - Black; NEUTRAL - White; LOAD - Red; GND - bare wire).

From the above diagram note that the Red wire of the new switch goes to the load. The Black wire on the switch goes to the HOT entering your switch box. The White wire from your new switch has to be connected to the new NEUTRAL that will be provided by the new cable that you need to run.

  • Thank you for your reply Michael! The switch itself does appear to be working fine with the way I currently have it connected (black to black, other black to white, and ground to green), it is just the light itself that won't power on. I was even able to connect the Wi-Fi application on my Android phone, so the dimmers seems to be functioning ok. With that being said; would it be possible to combine the black non power cable (you termed it the cable carrying the load out to the light) with both the white and red wires on the dimmer and have power to both the light and the dimmer switch?
    – JonathanM
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 21:02
  • @JonathanM -- no, because the dimmer wasn't designed to work that way :) Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 21:06
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    @JonathanM - Stop trying to look for a shortcut. I already indicated in my answer that your existing wiring is not going to work with the smart switch. Your solution will be to run the proper wiring like I indicated. If you feel unsure about doing that then call in a professional electrician that can perform the proper wiring for you.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 21:10

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