Install a Dimmer Switch Socket on Any Lamp in Minutes

Up the cozy factor in any room by adding an inexpensive dimmer switch socket to any table lamp or floor lamp – no electrical skills needed!

The right kind of light can change the way any room in your home feels.

Did you know you can have the option to make any room feel cozy one night with the soft glow of a dimmed lamp to another night of needing the same lamp brightly lit to read, do hobbies or play games?

In my house, I like every wall switch to have a dimmer switch wired to an outlet. Any lamp that gets plugged into these outlets becomes controlled by a wall switch. Dimmable by turning or sliding a dial on the wall switch.

Make over a brass chandelier

Wall dimmer switches are common in the dining rooms of most homes so a chandelier over the table can be dimmed when entertaining.

Large basket made into a diy end table. It sits next to a brown chair with a white throw and pillow. A floor lamp behind with a dimmable socket to adjust the light.

But what about lamps not near an outlet that has been wired to do this?

Did you know even an existing lamp you own can become dimmable without the need of an electrician or connected to a wall switch? All that is needed is a small tweak to the fixture’s socket.

I added a dimmable light socket to this floor lamp.

DIY makeover of an ugly table lamp. After image of the newly transformed lamp on a sofa table.

I also added the same style lamp socket dimmer to the table lamp I recently makeover.

Having the option to dim both these lamps in my living room, allows me to up the cozy factor.

Dimmed lamp light is the best light for watching TV, to enjoy candle glow and for sitting by a fire in the fireplace while snuggled under a comfy throw.


Think how nice it would be to dim any lamp or light bulb when you don’t need it to be bright all the time.

Dimmers on lamps = instant room ambiance!

Can You Make Any Lamp Dimmable?

dimmer socket and tools

There is a variety of lamp socket dimmer products sold at home improvement stores. Most of these dimmer sockets will work with any standard incandescent bulbs up to 150 watts. For LED bulbs – you may need specialized dimmers.

4 Types of Light Dimmers You Can Use to Dim Any Lamp

Making a lamp dimmable is an easy process.

Option 1Replacement Dimmer Socket – no electrical knowledge needed. Simple change-out of the lamp socket to a dimmable lamp socket with a turn knob. This is my go-to. See how-to video below.

Option 2 – Screw in Dimmer Socket – These are the fastest and easiest dimmer sockets to add to a lamp. No tools needed.

  • The downfall is most of these are made of plastic and are wide which may interfere with the lampshade harp.
  • They also add about 1 and 1/4 inch to the height of the bulb. If using a shade that is connected to the bulb, the shade may become too high from the lamp base and not look in proportion.

Option 3Corded Plug-In Dimmer Switch. These are easy to plug-in, but you will have a separate switch and cord hanging from the lamp. Too many cords to deal with.

Option 4Wired in the Wall Dimmer that is connected to a ceiling mounted fixture and controlled by a light switch.

  • These can also be wired to an outlet so that a lamp with a dial control that is plugged in the outlet can be dimmed. Electrical knowledge is needed.

Adding any of these dimming option to a room will add “instant cozy” to any space with the turn of a knob.

How to Install a Dimmer Socket on a Table Lamp or Floor Lamp

Always remember to unplug your lamp before changing out the socket.

YouTube video

To view the above video, select the arrow in the center.

No Dimmers in a Room? When you don’t have a dimmer on a lamp and want to add the cozy dimmed light feeling to a space, use one or more 15 watt lightbulbs to simulate candlelight. Works like magic when you don’t have a dimmer switch or lightbulb socket on your light fixtures and lamps.

What Types of Light bulbs Can Be Used with a Dimmable Lamp Socket?

There are a few different types of light bulbs that can be used with a dimmable lamp socket. These include LED bulbs, CFL bulbs, and incandescent bulbs. Each type of bulb has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your style and needs. LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient option, and they also last the longest. However, they can be more expensive than other types of bulbs.

Where Can I Purchase a Dimmable Lamp Socket?

You can buy dimmable lamp sockets at most home improvement stores and online on Amazon.

Below are a few different styles to choose. They range from nickel, brass, antique brass, plastic and vintage.

how do you make a lamp dimmable? Add a dimmer socket. Here are 5 options that don't require an electrician. Text overlay says any lamp dimmer sockets create cozy ambiance in minutes.

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Do you have dimmer lamp sockets on your lights, fixtures and lamps?

More Home Lighting Ideas:

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  1. Paul Frazier says:

    I was hoping to see you note the absolute importance of maintaining the polarity of the wires – it’s why one screw terminal is brass colored and the other is silver. Typical lamp wire is “coded” with one side smooth (hot) and the other ribbed (neutral). This coincides with the width of the prongs on the plug and openings on the wall outlet (notice that one is slightly wider than the other). The ribbed wire goes to the silver screw and the wider of the two prongs on the plug. The smooth wire goes to the brass colored terminal and the narrower of the two prongs on the plug. This must be observed to avoid the potential for electrical shock should the user be touching the outside of the lamp socket and be grounded at the same time. Also it’s important to not have loose strands on the wire ends and to bend/loop the wire to the right so it curls around the screw as you tighten it.

  2. What about a lamp like this

    What do you recommend?

  3. I recently installed a ceiling mounted non dimmable lamp in my bedroom but it’s to bright to always have on.

    How can I change that?

    What can I do to dim a non dimmable installed ceiling light fixture?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandra – When a ceiling fixture is non-dimmable and hard-wired to the switch, there is not much you can do to dim the light. It is most likely an LED bulb and/or fixture. If you add a dimmer switch on the wall you could create a wiring problems, so that is not a good idea. I don’t think you can do anything except replace the bulb with a lower wattage one. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but as of right now, tech hasn’t caught up to have hard wired LED fixtures to work on dimmers unless if course a switch comes with the light. I have Hunter ceiling fans with lights and I can dim them at the wall switch since they came as a packaged deal. If I find something that will help you be able to dim the light, I will contact you.

  4. I love this idea. For the first time in my life, I truly feel that I will be able to change a regular light to a dimmer switch/lighting. Thank you so much for that. Your video was perfect!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ivory – So happy to hear that my post helped you. Changing out the sockets is so easy when installed adds the perfect lighting just when you need it.

  5. Barbara H. says:

    Thanks! I had no idea this could be done.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – Happy to have been able to show you something you were not familiar with. It is so simple and adds so much ambiance to a room. :-)

  6. Elaine Chick says:

    One thing that I wanted to point out is that any wall outlets which are connected to a dimmer wall switch are not good for plugging in a vacuum cleaner. I’ve been told by an electrician that it can destroy your vacuum. I’m not sure of all the mechanics but it seems that reducing the power going to the vacuum can cause it to malfunction. I have certain outlets which I plug my vacuum in to and don’t veer from that.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – You are so right! In my previous house the only available plug for the vacuum in the living room was one controlled by a dimmer and I found out about the low power that can happen if the dimmer isn’t on full on. Luckily I never damaged the vacuum, but the first time it happened, I was stumped, until I had the aha moment.

  7. So clever! I had no idea that this was an option, but I’ll be adding this to my project list!

  8. Count me as another person that didn’t know that these existed.
    I did have a giggle when the 3rd hand came in on some spots.
    Really great info.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kat – I would make more videos, but don’t have a helper most of the time. Even when I explain how I am going to take the video and what I want Ed to do, he ends up needed a little help, hence the 3rd hand. :-)

  9. We’ve put dimmers on almost all of our lighting, even the under cabinet lighting is dimmable. The other thing that my husband does is put a cordless on/off switch so that it can be done without getting up. This works really well in the bedroom where I have a mini chandelier hanging over my tiny nightstand so I can turn it on and off while in bed. I confess I’m spoilt? but it really is a big help.
    I think the way you explain how to do all these things is great since having all these good ideas is only as good as being able to put them in place. Enjoy your cozy lighting!

  10. Love this, Diane! You just solved my lamp problem watching TV. I usually turn it off to watch TV since it’s too bright with it on. Who knew these existed??? Now I can dim the lamp and make it cozier too! Thanks, Diane!

  11. I agree … dimmers are pretty cool!

    I have a question for you …. What are the string of wooden balls called? Does it have a name? I have made a few after seeing your posts about them but have no idea the “real” name ….. please advise.

    Love your blog …. and enjoying the new look!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda –

      The wood balls are just called garlands. I don’t think they have another name. Someone just found a decorative use for them besides hanging them on a tree or across a mantel. They make an easy and artful addition to a casual coffee table display.

      I bought the one in the dough bowl shown in the post with a gift card I got for my birthday:

      Thanks for telling me you enjoy my blog. :-) XO