I have a 3 way switch and a 3 way dimmer switch to operate two recessed fixtures, which worked fine for years. Now, both spots are dim. Doesn't matter if I use the switch with dimmer or 3 way switch without dimmer. The slide dimmer works to dim the lights, but the maximum brighteness using either switch is about 30%. Is the issue the dimmer, and it needs to be replaced, or possibly something else?

  • What make/model is the dimmer in question? What type of bulb is in these spotlights? Mar 25, 2018 at 17:03
  • 1
    My guess is a bad dimmer, but I can't tell from my house. Replace it with a common $2 three-way switch and you'll know.
    – isherwood
    Mar 25, 2018 at 22:41
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    Time to think about an LED upgrade and stop replacing bulbs. Mar 26, 2018 at 5:19

1 Answer 1


First replace both bulbs. If that doesn't fix it, open the three way switch and bypass the second switch and install a plain switch. If that doesn't fix it, it gets harder. You'll need to check resistance of house wiring at that point.

My guess is faulty dimmer with dust in the rheostat.

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