I recently replaced my kitchen lights to dimmable LEDs. Right now there are two 1 gang 3-way switches, so I can control the same lights from two switches. I wanted to replace one of the switches with a dimmer, so I bought a dimmer switch and turns out it's only two-way.

Both switches look like this :

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While the dimmer looks like this : enter image description here

How can I wire this dimmer? I don't mind getting rid of one of the switches.

  • 1
    with 2 switches controlling it is called a 3 way they do make 3 way dimmers here in the U.S. 120v , I am sure there is a comparable 3 way for your 250v. – Ed Beal Jun 22 '16 at 13:08
  • Don't hamstring your options. Take your single-pole switch back and get a three-way dimmer. – isherwood Jun 22 '16 at 13:27
  • Is there a way to use only one switch as a dimmer? Because I never use the other switch. – user55533 Jun 22 '16 at 13:44
  • You'd have to "jumper" the switch you never use. Make sure you know which is the input, then tie the two outputs together so they're both "hot" at all times. This will allow you to wire a 2-way into the other switch location. – Carl Witthoft Jun 22 '16 at 15:49
  • How can I distinguish between the input and output? – user55533 Jun 22 '16 at 16:17

Never gonna work. Take the dimmer back and get the right thing. It won't be the first one the shop has taken back for that reason.

But, know this -- a dimmer switch that works with an old-style 3-way** is a hard problem. The device that can solve it is sophisticated. Basically it has to be able to power itself off either of the two travelers, supply the light from the traveler that is hot, and treat a change in traveler as a command to "invert" its on/off state, while remembering its dim setting. All this to support a very obsolete way of doing that thing.

In this day-and-age, you are far better off going with a dimming smart switch and a matching "remote". Make sure it's a model that plays well with your LEDs. The remote can also dim, so you don't have to cross the room to set light level. You could set it from your phone depending on the model you get.

Think about a going with a standardized system like Z-wave or Zigbee, so everything in your house could talk to each other and your phones.

** 3-way is the American term. The British term is 2-way.

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