Electrical Wiring in the Home/Dimmer Switch - Light


Hi Bob,

We replaced an original light fixture in our kitchen 6 years ago (with a Hampton Bay Ceiling Wave Bar light); soon after, I installed a dimmer switch. The light has functioned properly until recently.  Now, when we turn on the light (dimmer all the way up), we're only getting 40% light.  I've replaced bulbs on the light itself so I don't think it's the fixture.  My guess is that the dimmer isn't working well anymore.  Checked the circuit box, reset, etc. but no change.  

Does this sound like a dimmer issue?  Do I need an electrician?  I can replace the dimmer and will, but wanted some advice before proceeding.  

Thank you,

Assuming you did not change the bulbs to CFLs or LEDs, it is probably the dimmer.  They are very fragile, and are easily damaged.  You can either replace the dimmer with another dimmer or with a plain switch temporarily to see if it works.  If a plain switch works, then the dimmer was bad.  Make sure you turn the power off at the breaker box when you replace the dimmer, or you will damage the new one (and get a shock).
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.