the can (Figures 4A and 4B).
Wiring was simple: A two-prong male (polarized) AC
plug was installed on a piece of “zip” (lamp) cord; the
end was run into the container. Likewise, a two-prong
female (polarized) receptacle was attached to a piece of
zip cord, and its other end run into the container. One
end of each zip cord gets attached to each other and run
to the ground lug.
Make sure you check connections (with a meter or
other tester) to ensure the male large ground plug blade is
connected electrically to the Romex ground screw!
The remaining two leads go to the dimmer (via wire
nuts). The schematic and Figure 5 detail the
Now, the dimmer can be inserted and the can lid put
in place to seal the enclosure (Figure 6). Once this was
done, I hammered the lid all around to seal the enclosure
further. I used a quick spray of paint to touch up some
paint chipped in the sealing process, I put the knob in
place, and my “Christmas Can Dimmer” was complete.
Here’s how to implement my solution: Plug the male
into an AC outlet. Put the Christmas lights into the female
receptacle. Now, bring up the dimmer to full brightness.
Once you have reached full brightness, turn the
dimmer counter-clockwise to take the lights down
approximately 10 percent. You can use a meter to
adjust the voltage to 90 percent of full value (if
you want to be more precise).
You will not only enjoy years of trouble-free
lighting, but your lights will have additional
ambience, as well. NV
44 December 2013
1. Connect Gnd. Wire
to Romex connector
2. Large pin on male
and female is Gnd.