Do It Yourself Christmas Tree light dimmer.

Why would you want a light dimmer for your Christmas tree?

One reason might be that it's a warmer and cozier light and more in keeping with the look of candles from centuries past.

The reason that has influenced me, over the past several years is that it's very tough to find a bad bulb when one fails. By reducing the voltage applied to the bulbs, the life of the bulbs are greatly extended. A 10% reduction in voltage doubles the life of the filament. Finding a bad bulb is even harder on the pre-wired trees that are popular these days.

I made a new dimmer this year because we added a tree at our house for a total of three. There's the biggest one in the living room that has the presents under it. That one is not very visible from the street in front of the house, so we added a slender one in the hallway by the front door that is very visible from the street. This year we added another one in the dining room.

Here's what you start with, all parts came from one trip to one store, Ace Hardware, the store closest to our house. Similar parts can be obtained from anywhere that has electrical parts, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

  1. A plastic single outlet/switch box
  2. A single circuit dimmer, style of your choice. I went for cheap.
  3. A Two prong 6 foot extension cord.
  4. A switch cover plate.

  • Open up one of the holes for wires in the outlet box and push a loop of the extension cord wire through it.

  • Then use a knife to separate the two sides of the cord for about three inches.

  • Cut one of the wires in the middle of the separated area.

  • Strip the insulation from each of the cut ends about 3/8 inch.

  • Using the wire nuts that come with the dimmer, attach the two black wires to the ends of the wires you cut and stripped. The orientation doesn't matter.

  • The green ground wire isn't used. There's nothing to connect it to since all the parts are insulated and it's a plastic enclosure


The finished product.

Merry Christmas!!