I would like to place dimmers in two different rooms that are sometimes a bit over lit. Is that possible when both areas have two switches for the recessed lighting? Do I need to replace both switches with LED dimmer switches?


No, you should not have to replace both of the existing switches on each circuit. You won't be able to dim from both ends, of course. You just need a "3-Way LED Dimmer" and follow the appropriate wiring. Replace one of the switches (on each set of lights that have two switches) with the dimmer - the other switch will turn them on or off, at wherever the dimmer is set.

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    +1 But you can use a wireless dimmer for full control from multiple locations. – bib Jan 13 '14 at 14:25
  • My reading of the question is that spending less money while having dimming ability is a higher priority than dimming from everywhere. – Ecnerwal Jan 14 '14 at 0:35

Yes you can and I have a basement full of LEDs that are dimmed from either side of basement.

Use a product like this. I have heard people say that these dimmers can't be used for all LEDs but I have not had an issue.

So basically one of the switches is the master - you see that one has the lights to signify the dimming on it. The other is the slave. They both can dim. When you dim the slave it signals to the master switch to dim. I have 5 sets of these Lutron dimmers in my house and they are great because they work great but also they are cheaper than buying individual dimmers from $30-40.

  • Actually the link you provide is to an incandescent/halogen dimmer set, not an LED compatible one. Consider this link instead. Other brands, such as Legrande/adorne, also offer master/slave sets – bib Jan 13 '14 at 20:19
  • @bib I have LED bulbs in the fixtures and it works. And they have LED marketed 3 way dimmers too. I bought a 2 pack from big box a couple months ago to test because I was unsure... works great. Only downside is there are only like 6 dimming options. – DMoore Jan 13 '14 at 21:22
  • Many newer LEDs are much more tolerant of a wide range of dimmers, but since we do not know which types OP will be using, it seems safer to go with an LED designed set, especially since they are about the same price. They also often have more flexibility in selecting the range of dimming. – bib Jan 13 '14 at 21:30
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    Yea I didn't really think about LEDs when installing dimmer. Just made sure CFLs worked. Finding out LEDs work was just a bonus. I have heard people say that LEDs didn't work with this dimmer but I have bought 3 different brands and all have worked so far. – DMoore Jan 13 '14 at 21:36

You cannot have a dimmer circut using two dimmers, HOWEVER, i do believe that you can find a solution.

The first is to use a wireless dimmer, with two transceivers.

The other is to wire the correct Dimmer on one switch, the dimmer type must be the bell press button type and not the rheostat type with the knob. These dimmers use a low current circut to determine the dimmer factor (as you press the button, the dimmer will cycle between dimming and full light) You could then simply wire the second switch to the first switch's dimmer circuit (the same way the first one is setup)

LED lights cannot really dim, the dim effect that you get is actually a switching circuit which turns the light off and on really quickly, the dimmer the light, the longer the time that the led is momentarily off for... Each light manufacturer will ahve a list of dimmer types (trailing edge and leading edge) as well as manufacturers which are approved to work as a dimmer... make sure you buy a compatible dimmer module for your lights.

see the image below. enter image description here

  • +1 for the wireless dimmer. The alternative is a bit rewiring intensive. – bib Jan 13 '14 at 14:24
  • if you coming from a conventional double switch you can use one of the 2 direct connections to attach the secondary dimmer button – MikeD Jan 31 '14 at 10:26
  • Master-slave dimmers are a better option than hacking some sort of wacky module, IMO... – ThreePhaseEel Apr 15 '15 at 0:27

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