Do Dimmer Switches Need to be Replaced?

Click here to learn more about dimmer switches & appropriate wattage

How long do dimmer switches last? If you have a light which stopped working, and it’s controlled with a dimmer switch, it may be time to replace the dimmer.

There are two types of dimmer switches; digital and the older rotary style. Dimmers are rated for 600 watt’s, 1000W, 2000W, and so on, with 600W being the standard. It’s important to know the amount of wattage you’ll be dimming. It’s not ideal to run your dimmer at maximum power, as it will cause the dimmer to fail.

When lights are dimmed, the excess energy is burned off as heat. As a result, the switch may feel warm; however it should never be too hot to touch. If you find the dimmer is hot, this may be a sign the dimmer is about to fail, or you have too much wattage and need to upgrade your dimmer.

Another important factor to consider when using dimmer switches are the type of light bulbs you’re using. Many dimmer lights do not function well with LED lights. If you have LED lights with a dimmer switch, the light will flicker. Most incandescent and halogen bulbs will work well with a dimmer. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs can be used with a dimmer if they are labeled as “dimmable”.

For all your Tulsa electrical needs, contact Steve at Murray Electric at 918-835-9605 or

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