The Frugal Filmmaker demonstrates how to wire a Dimmer switch with a few supplies from the hardware store. Always use caution when working with electricity.

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Sean Farrington

I wasn’t able to find a decent quality 600w dimmer switch for much under $20. But then I don’t usually dim anything but practicals.

Len Esten

I used to have a DIY kit and I rigged a dimmer for each of my lights using just this method and they work well but as you dim the color temperature changes more than slightly.

So if you are picky about color it’s be better to rig up some scrims from screen doors or just pull the lights back some until it’s not as bright.

Darin Hohman

Good point. I find these dimmers more useful for existing background lamps that might be in a shot. If you are shooting in a living room and you want a lamp on in the background but don’t want it over exposed or drawing more attention than your subject, this is perfect for that.


And the specs of the wire – that dimmer in the pic is most likely a 300w. Though 500w are easy enough to find.

Whatever you do, don’t plug a 650 into a 500w dimmer. At best, you fry the dimmer. At worst, you set the building on fire.


Just make sure you don’t overload the dimmer.

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