Dimmer switch not dimming lights

Dimmer switch not dimming lights. The dimmer switch won’t work as a dimmer if it is overloaded. If the dimmer switch isn’t overloaded, it’s probably faulty.

The wrong dimmer switch for the lights won’t dim them either. Incorrect dimmer installation won’t be dimming anything. The incompatible bulb won’t be dimmed either.

My bulb was not dimming when I wanted to show my friends. The light was on, but dimming was not occurring. First, I troubleshot the dimmer and checked the errors.

I troubleshot the dimmer with intent articles, but the articles about dimmer were not the best. I checked the dimmer’s lifetime and even checked for overloads.

Faults in the dimmer were realized by me, and the faults in the lights I wanted to dim were also found. Fixing the dimmer, or rather getting the dimming back on track, isn’t difficult.

Read to learn!

Dimmer switch not dimming lights

The dimmer switch has become pretty common because people have their own preference for light’s brightness. In fact, the dimmer switch is a brilliant invention.

But the dimmer switch doesn’t come flawless, or it doesn’t have any flaw-proof protection. The dimmer switch has a limit that it cannot surpass. The dimmer switch won’t work with its limit breached.

Overloading the dimmer is a bad idea. Then, going to the dimmer’s life, a dimmer doesn’t have that long life to work forever.

Maybe the dimmer needs a change. Changing the dimmer is a basic trick even when the dimmer has faults in it.

Overloaded switch

overloaded switch

The overloaded switch is the dimmer switch, not the outlet or power switch.

The dimmer switch has a limit at which it can dim lights or the limit on the number of lights the dimmer can dim.

The dimmer can only do a number of light dimming at once. There won’t be any dimming if you put the dimming load of the whole house on a single dimmer.

A single dimmer cannot take that much load. The load a simple dimmer can withstand is about 10 lights at the maximum.

The 10-light dimming should be on an excellent quality dimmer as normal dimmers may not even withstand 6 lights.

The optimum choice for a dimmer to a maximum is 8 lights. Seven will make the dimmer even safer, but putting 8 is fine.

Putting 10 or more than 10 lights on a single dimmer is asking the dimmer not to dim. Check if the dimmer switch has more lights attached to it than its limit.

If there are more lights than it can withstand, remove some load. The dimmer will start dimming when the load is balanced.

Overloading of lights can damage the dimmer, so replace if the dimmer doesn’t dim with fewer lights.

Incorrect connection

incorrect connection

If the dimmer switch has not been overloaded, then check if the dimmer switch is installed correctly. Incorrect installation of the dimmer is pretty common.

The lights may not be connected to the dimmer switch correctly, or there may not be a connection with the dimmer at all.

The wrong worse may e attached to the dimmer, or the bulb which you want to dim may be attached to another switch on the board.

If the dimmer you want to use is not dimming the lights, check if the dimmer is even attached to it.

If the dimmer switch is not to the light you want to dim, then check the light’s connection to the other switch and detach that connection.

Rewire the light with this dimmer, and then check if the light is dimming or not. The light will probably be dimmed, and you can stop here.

Defective dimmer

defective dimmer

The thing about the dimmer switch is that, the dimmer switch won’t last a lifetime.

The dimmer switches are common because of their work, but they aren’t designed to work forever.

The maximum life of a dimmer switch is 15 years, and that is only if the dimmer switch is given stable power and doesn’t get affected by faulty appliances or power surges that make the dimmer faulty. The dimmer can get faulty too.

The life of an average dimmer is at the most 10 years in which the dimmer will work properly, but after that, the dimmer gets out of work.

If the dimmer switch has passed over the years, you need to replace it, but life isn’t the only reason for the failure of the dimmer switch.

Power surges and appliance failures shorten the dimmer’s life, and it may get faulty even before it works. Let’s see more.

Incompatible dimmer

The most uncommon dimmer fault is the dimmer being incompatible. The dimmer being incompatible isn’t impossible.

Special dimmers are designed for lights and other appliances. The dimmers of the light can not be interchanged with the dimmer of the appliances like fans and motors and vice versa.

Check if the dimmer you are using is for lights or any other appliance. If the dimmer doesn’t dim the lights, then the dimmer is probably from another appliance.

Most common dimmers are for fans. Replace the dimmer if it isn’t for lights or even if it’s for the lights but is not compatible with your lights.

Mismatched bulb

mismatched bulb

Getting back to the usual issue from an unusual one, the dimmer being incompatible was the one thing that isn’t in any other dimmer article.

The bub being mismatched is another thing.

Though the bulb not being compatible with the dimmer is placed in other articles, they don’t give details why the bulb is incompatible. The bulb can be incompatible because of many reasons. Let’s see.

The bulb may not be compatible with the dimmer if the model and company differ as new models have advanced dimmers, but this problem isn’t common.

The common bulb is compatible reason is that the bulb isn’t actually a dimming bulb.

You heard right. Sometimes the bulb you are trying to dim doesn’t have the feature of dimming, so even using a dimmer that is compatible and specially built for the lights won’t work. If the bulb is incompatible, then replace the bulb.

Faulty bulb

After a faulty dimmer and the bulb itself is incompatible, the faults in the bulb come to light. If the dimmer works with no faults, the dimmer is compatible with the bulb, and even if the bulb is compatible with the dimmer, check the bulb.

There can be faults in the bulb or light, just like the dimmer. Check faults in the bulb and see if the bulb isn’t dimming because of power surges. If the bulb has faults, then no use in trying to repair it. Get the bulb replaced or DIY.

Power problem

power problem

The power problem is placed last because power issues are probably known.

Sometimes, the lack of power to the dimmer doesn’t allow it to work properly.

The dimmer or the work doesn’t work on lower power. The low power causes them to be incompatible and creates faults too.


Having dimmer switches to set lights is a blessing. Having dimmer faults feels like a lot of work. Thinking of what to check about the dimmer is the worst part.

But all faults appearing in dimmers are mentioned above. The solution to a dimmer, not dimming given with them. Thanks for reading!

Related Guides