I bought the $20 Lutron Dimmer Switch (TGCL-153PH-WH) from my local big box hardware store. It dims the Cree LED bulbs great. There is just one problem... no matter how I install the wires the switch always tuns off in wrong position. The dimmer is marked UP and the has two terminals on the right side plus a wire at the top for ground.

I had to install it upside down for it to turn the lights on in the UP position. This matters because the slider is on the right side of the switch, sure I can use it upside down (with the slider on the left side but I don't think it's right)

The two wires in the terminal were Black and Orange. I used a fluke tester and determined that the black was hot. This switch actually powers an outlet. From that outlet I've attached 14-2 wire to "steal" electricity off it. What seems to be the problem?

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  • I'm confused by what you mean by 'steal power' from the outlet.
    – DA01
    Dec 11, 2014 at 3:18
  • "This switch actually powers an outlet"...care to explain that better? Running a switched outlet through a dimmer sounds like a great way to break things.
    – Grant
    Dec 11, 2014 at 3:44
  • The swtich powers an electrical outlet which I think was intended to have a lamp plugged into it. Dimming at the switch will cause the the outlet to get less power and thus dim the lamp connected to it. Instead of a lamp plugged in I've run 14-2 wire to the outlet.
    – John
    Dec 15, 2014 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


You've probably connected one of the 2 power wires to the incorrect traveler terminal on the switch.

This switch can be used as both a standard two-way switch as well as a three-way switch. (A three-way switch is used when there are 2 switches controlling the same device.)

In standard two-way arrangement, one of the power wires should be attached to the common terminal (this screw is a darker color than the others) and the other power wire should be connected to the terminal on the opposite side of the switch (according to this switch's wiring diagram). These two terminals are connected when the switch is flipped "up".

wiring image

The third terminal (on the same side as the common terminal) is used only in three-way configuration. If you've connected your second power wire here instead, then the device will receive power when the switch is flipped "down" because this is when that terminal is connected to the common terminal.

  • This is the correct answer, thanks! I read the directions and that's what it says. I had to install this quickly and didn't look at the directions the first time.
    – John
    Dec 11, 2014 at 4:20
  • This worked for me as well. It’s worth mentioning that the bulbs must be dimmable or you may get strange behavior even when the dimmer is connected correctly. Dec 28, 2017 at 20:52

This is really a three way switch that can also be used as a single pole (meaning as a switch by itself instead of 2 switches on the same circuit in different parts of the room). You'll see there are three terminals on the switch. Instead of using the top left and bottom left, use the bottom left and bottom right and it will turn on in the correct orientation.

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