By Gene and Katie Hamilton
We can't think of a better way to make life at home easier than replacing a standard light switch with a dimmer. With a touch pad that responds to your finger a light switch is much easier to operate than a toggle switch, especially if someone in the house has arthritis or a sore wrist. You slide your finger up and the light goes on; slide it down the pad and the light dims. At first dimmers were promoted for use in dining areas to lower the light and create a quiet mood and ambiance for dining. Today they're a convenient feature in any room where you want to easily adjust and control the light, or for specific tasks such as illuminating a fireplace mantle or an art collection.
An electrician will charge $160 to replace five standard light switches with dimmer controls which includes labor and material. You can buy the devices for $75 and do it yourself, saving 53 percent. The project involves basic electrical skills, and you'll need a neon circuit tester, a screwdriver, a wire cutter/stripper tool and electrical tape. You might need some wire connectors if they're not packaged in with the switch.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to install a dimmer switch you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.