Light switch confusion

23 Jan 2017
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I want to replace an old rotating dimmer switch with a wifi dimmer switch preferably, but if that works out too impossible or complicated, I would be happy enough to just have a normal 2 gang switch or 1 gang switch.

It's in a living room beside a kitchen, the kitchen has a 2 gang switch on the wall, but the 2nd switch of it does nothing, I assume that it used to turn on the light in the living room a long time ago, but when they replaced the living room switch with a dimmer, they just left the old 2nd switch in the living room disconnected, as the switch beside it operates the kitchen light and the 2nd switch of that 2 gang thing does nothing.

As for where the dimmer switch is, I don't know if that was originally 2 gang as well or not. But what I do know, is when I unscrewed the dimmer switch, the wires came loose and now the 2 gang switch in the other room doesn't work at all.

Please see the attached pictures and this will hopefully make more sense.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Since wired in singles, and clearly black has been used as line, it would need careful ringing out to work out what you have. Post war UK mainland the wiring method was line and neutral to each ceiling rose and feed and switched return to the switch, where two way was used it went switch to switch, and often the line in a two gang or more switch was borrowed for the two way switch.

When the MR16 2" ceiling lights started to become popular, there was a move to follow the European method of using the switch box as the junction box rather than the ceiling rose.

So today you find both, but where the wires are part of a cable, often you can work out what method has been followed.

Since switch marked 100 - 400 watt it would seem they do not use a neutral and not suitable for use with energy saving bulbs, since you are in Ireland may be some once else can help better.
Thanks for the input.

Just to clarify, the switch in the pictures is still the old rotary dimmer, possibly from a time before energy saving lightbulbs existed. There was no bulb in the room so I bought a dimmable LED and it was working ok but I didn't leave it on as it was flickering a bit and the switch was making some high pitched noise, so I thought I'd use that as an excuse to upgrade it.

But from my limited knowledge and assumptions, would I be right in thinking it was originally a regular 2 gang switch there with at least one of the switches being a 2 way with the adjoining room? (adjoining room has a 2 gang switch and one switch on it does nothing) I don't know if it's clear from looking or not and I'm just a novice at this sort of thing.

Most of the wifi switches (dimmable or not) I have seen on Amazon specify that they need a neutral, so I would like to know if that's the case so I don't want to be buying the wrong thing. A wifi swtich that specifies no neutral required might still be a possibility? Failing that, I'll just get a standard non dimmable switch but I'm just wondering if that would need to be 2 gang for possible 2 way with the next room, or not.... just not sure how much of a story the wires can tell so I can know my options! :)

Any help is appreciated, thanks
In Ireland you are not allowed to work on your own electrics and heavy penalties enforce this. Just saying, you may want to check up.
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In Ireland you are not allowed to work on your own electrics and heavy penalties enforce this. Just saying, you may want to check up.

Thanks, this job is probably beyond me anyway, but i'd rather at least know what my switch buying options are before I get an electrician to fit it (and also avoid wasting time and money getting the wrong switch)

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