My girlfriend bought an old apartment in NYC and we are trying to replace one of the dimmers with a standard switch. The 2 gang consist of the dimmer (Controls the living room lights) and a standard switch (Controls the kitchen light). A quick Google search told me the dimmer was causing flickering with the new led gu10 lights we bought from Ikea. We tried these lights elsewhere and they did not flicker.

When I went to open up the outlet it looked like there was only one power source split between the two? I am following mostly online guides and they all tell me to just attach either two black cables to the new switch or a red and black to it but it doesn't look like the case for my situation.

Is this out of my limited technical skills and we should call an electrician?

I have attached pictures below to show what I mean.

2gang switch

The switch I am trying to replace the dimmer with. enter image description here

  • You do understand that you need to turn off the breaker to the switch and then use a tester to make sure that there is no electricity in the wires that you will be working on. ? It appears you have two wires, One is Power in and the other is power out to the light fixture.
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 20, 2019 at 21:36
  • Yeah I have turned off the breaker to the switch and used a Klein Tools pen to check for electricity. How do I replace the dimmer with the new switch using those two wires?
    – Ricecooker
    Oct 20, 2019 at 22:03
  • Can you post a photo that looks into the backof the box please? Oct 20, 2019 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


Its very common to split or chain light circuits in parallel. Outlets too.

If you wanted to be quick about it, turn off circuit breaker, cut and strip those two wires that are comming out of the dimmer, and screw them to the brass terminals on the new switch. Btw, you can remove the green screw since its not used in this class of wiring. I would take re-tighten any wire nut splices so that there is no copper wire showing, Looks like the one in the picture needs to be redone.

In some areas, the feed wires are not labeled, so when I see one like this white wire used as a feed (power, instead of common) I mark it with a black marker.

btw, they do make led lights that are compatible with dimmers.

  • Is it necessary to remove the green screw if it is not in use?
    – Ricecooker
    Oct 28, 2019 at 14:52
  • Its not necessary, just screw it all the way in, or remove it so it doesn't catch on any wires.
    – drtechno
    Oct 31, 2019 at 12:03

You're having trouble relating to it, because the dimmer has pigtails, and the plain switch does not.

Go down to the store and buy 1 foot of black solid #12 THHN wire by-the-foot. While you're at the cutter, lop it in half to give two 6" lengths. Attach those to the screws, or alternately this particular switch has a fastening technique called screw-to-clam, where you lay the wire in those back holes and tighten the screw quite hard. That will also suffice, but don't confuse this for a normal way of using screws.

Normally when attaching to a screw, you shape a shepherd's hook on the end of the wire, so the wire wraps 200-210 degrees (a little over 180 degrees) around the screw. Always clockwise (open end on right). NEVER simply lay a straight wire under a screw and tighten, except for this particular type of outlet.

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