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Thanks to recent advances in technology, screwing in a light bulb is a talent I no longer posses.

Consider this set up in the first picture.

Those are ordinary switches at location 1,2,3,4. Switch 2 is to connect to an LED light (3 Dimmable bulbs , each 6W, ST19, GE, replacement for 60W, see details in picture 3 and 4, I got these from a big box store and it turned out online they are half price!).

I want to replace switch 2 with a dimmer. Is this safe and doable? Are other modifications needed by code? What is the generic name of product I need to replace switch 1+2? The current switch-plate on the outside is 4.5" by 4.5". The interior of wallbox is about 3 3/4 wide and 2 7/8 tall.

Some issues came up. Apparently dimming LED lights is a complicated issue. You have to watch out for compatibility. GE website does not list a dimmer for this dimmable bulb of theirs, while it lists it for hundreds of other bulbs! And Lutron Website, which makes dimmers, does not recognize this bulb either! So I am wondering if I should return the bulbs?

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  • What make and model is the existing LED bulb? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 17 at 0:08
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    @ThreePhaseEel 3 Dimmable bulbs , each 6W, ST19, GE, replacement for 60W. – Maesumi Jul 17 at 0:57
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You'll want a LED compatible, multi-way capable dimmer

In your case, you'll want a dimmer that's compatible with dimming Edison-base LED replacements, and also supports multi-way operation. This is not something you want to cheap out on, or order from Amazon, by the way; your local home improvement/hardware store or electrical supply house should stock at least some of the Lutron, Leviton, Cooper/Eaton, or Legrand dimmer product lines, which all have suitable wallbox dimmers for your application.

(If you were considering something more sophisticated than a straightforward dimmer here, you'll need to provide us with more information, since we don't know how your wallboxes are configured, and sensor dimmers, "smart" dimmers, and some other dimming devices require a neutral reference at the switchbox, which isn't always available.)

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  • Are the new switches going to need a new wallbox or would the current box (probably from 40 years ago) accommodate them? The plate size is square and 4.5 inches wide. Should I post a pic? – Maesumi Jul 17 at 13:59
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    @Maesumi -- you should have enough space in the existing box for the new dimmer, yes – ThreePhaseEel Jul 17 at 14:04
  • added dimensions of the walbox. – Maesumi Jul 17 at 15:22
  • @Maesumi -- that's a pretty standard-sized two-gang box, you'll be more than fine as long as the box is deep enough – ThreePhaseEel Jul 17 at 15:28
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    The main issue you may get into is how the dimmer fits into the 3-way wiring. Its design may require it be in one location or the other, you often can’t dictate which location it gets to go. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 17 at 18:23

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