In my basement family room I have two sets of track lighting on either sides of the room. Each set is controlled by it's own dimmer switch, and both dimmer switches are in the same box in the wall.

They are on the same circuit, but power is wired directly to the light, then a single 12/2 wire goes to the light switch. Power doesn't come into the light switch and then out to the lights (which is how I prefer to wire new lights).

The question is, how can I convert these two dimmer switches to a single light switch? I have doubts that I can just tie the blacks together and whites together, then run them through the switch. Wouldn't that be doubling the power going through the switch?

1 Answer 1


This explanation assumes you are trying to control both sets of lights at the same time and not independently.

If they are on the same circuit, having separate hot wires to each switch is really redundant. The return wires from the switches are not.

There is no problem ganging both lighting fixtures on the same switch so long as the switch is rated for the power the fixtures draw. Most modern dimmers are rated 150, 300, 600 or 1000 watts. You need to make sure that the two fixtures, added together, are somewhat lower than the switch rating. If not, your gonna need a bigger switch!

All you need to do is hook one of the hot lines to the switch and cap the other hot line with a wirenut. Then pigtail both of the two switched lines (that return to the fixtures) to the switch output side. Do be sure to attach ground, for safety and to reduce the chance of random hum.

All of this assumes that the dimmers are suitable to the type of lighting (special dimmers are needed for many CFL and LED bulbs), that they are single pole (not three way), and there is no special feature requiring a neutral.


As Tester101 needs to regularly remind me, current code calls for a neutral wire at all switches. You have an extra wire in the switch box (the redundant hot) that could be converted to a neutral if you ever need it. You would need to switch it over at the fixture to the neutral white line, mark it at the fixture to show it is neutral (e.g., with white tape) and mark it at the switch box as neutral (also white tape).

  • This worked perfect, and makes perfect sense. For some reason, I had it in my head that the blacks coming into the switches weren't hot. I must have been over thinking it.
    – KJ-SRS
    Oct 25, 2013 at 16:59

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