2 min read
close up of hand turning dimmer switch bellvue co

How Do You Know if Your Dimmer Switch Gets Hot?

Modern homes nowadays rarely come without light dimmer switches. If you use your dimmer frequently, it may grow too hot and cause electrical devices to fail. In this article, we’ll explain what to do in such a case.

Electronic dimmer switches are ideal for giving you a little more control over the ambiance of your home. Although they are great for minimizing intense brightness, most electrical contractors believe there are a few reasons why they haven’t replaced regular switches yet.

Providing you with the choice to change the brightness of your lights can lead to an alarming amount of heat generated on the switch directly. Electronic dimmer switches do retain heat, so if you notice that the switch is a little warm, do not be alarmed. If the dimmer switch gets so hot that you cannot put your finger on it for more than a few moments, there is a problem.


As we mentioned before, the importance of a glowing light switch is growing, and being able to regulate the brightness of your lighting securely depends on one thing. The temperature of a typical dimmer switch should be about 140°F. A few, though, allow for a maximum temperature of 195°F.

While an electronic dimmer switch seems pretty hot, this is really the interior temperature of the device, not the switch you are touching. A dimmer switch that can manage the current running into your lights should be able to modify the luminance of your lightbulbs instantly. A semiconductor that behaves as a transistor is used in newer dimmer switches to do this. Heat gets generated here, and metal heat-sinks are utilized to minimize the effects.

While reducing the lights, older dimmer switches turn warm, but new switches turn warm when brightening them.

An improper equilibrium in your circuits is causing your switch to become hot to the touch. That signifies that the voltage of your lamps exceeds the voltage rating of your dimmer switch.

Look for the maximum wattage of your electronic dimmer switch, which is normally stated on a label on the fixture, and ensure it is greater than this figure to determine whether your lighting arrangement is beyond the wattage.


A variety of factors might cause your dimmer switch to overload and become extremely hot to touch. Although it is typical for a dimmer switch to become slightly warm while in operation, it should never get extremely hot. The following are some of the issues that might lead to this problem:

Overloaded Switch

An electronic dimmer switch is capable of controlling up to 1500 watts of power at a time. At any moment in time, this represents the overall wattage. Therefore, if you already have sixteen 100-watt bulbs managed by a single dimmer, the total output would be 1600 watts, and the dimmer switch would be overwhelmed. As a result, the dimmer switch gets warm, perhaps creating a fire. If this is the situation with your dimmer switch, there are a few options available. Switching to LEDs or modifying the dimmer switch are two examples.

Wiring Issues

Any tiny spaces or faulty wiring might create arcing, which is when electricity leaps from one spot to another, and this might cause an issue for your dimmer switch. Internal switch components can overheat as a result of this, particularly if it becomes a hazard.


Invest in a Bigger Faceplate

Install a bigger dimmer switch plate, particularly one made of metal, to improve the heat transmission for a single dimmer. The dimmer stays cooler because a bigger metal plate carries more heat than a little plastic surface.

Remove Any Insulation That Isn’t Necessary

Heat is trapped in the box by insulation behind the dimmer. Turn off the electricity to the switch at the fuse box, then remove the switch’s cover to lessen the issue. Inspect around the switch box for any apparent insulation. Scrape any extra insulation away from the box using a plastic caulk knife. This technique should not be used for boxes in external walls where insulation is important in preventing heat loss from the house.

Reduce the Wattage of the Lightbulbs

Higher-wattage bulbs use more energy and might cause a temperature increase when used with a high wattage dimmer switch. This is particularly true in the case of multi-bulb setups.


Electronic dimmer switches are attractive, conserve energy, and contribute to the ambiance of a home. Keep an eye on the overall wattage and ensure it stays within the restrictions specified underneath the cover plate. Based on the circumstances of your case, moving certain lighting fixtures to another switch or increasing the wattage of your present switch may be the best answer.

Prolectric Electrical Services is always here to assist you with the problem. Our services extend till in and around

  • Bellevue
  • Wellington
  • Fort Collins

For any requests, concerns, or comments related to electronic dimmer switches, we are extremely simple to reach. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 970-222-4740 if you have any questions regarding our services.

Get in Touch With Us

At Prolectric Electrical Services, our electrical contractor is ready to provide you with the professional assistance you need. Schedule a service by calling (970) 222-4740 or filling out the contact form below.