How To Wire A Light Switch: 6 Safe Ways that Won’t Get you Toasted

One of the most essential energy-saving tools found in our homes is a light switch. The reason behind this is that, whenever you feel like it, you could easily turn on or off our lights according to your discretion. As much as how you want it, you don’t know how to wire a light switch. And it’s just plainly sad.

But worry no more because here are some few easy and doable ways to wire a light switch!

Slow down! Before actually doing the stuff, have you ever asked yourself why would you want to do it? Obviously, you are only changing wires whenever they are broken. When they break, they wouldn’t work and sometimes (most of the time, worst!) is they give off spark! Boom.


A light switch that gives free sparks (Ha!) is very much vulnerable to fire and shock and therefore, should be replaced instantly. Since the light switch isn’t that expensive, considering replacing it rather than repairing it (which is by the way, more dangerous) is more strategic.

Another reason why you should replace a light switch is to attain better functionality. Light switches often have often evolved throughout the years. Dimmers, motion-sensor switches, central lighting controls- these are the many innovations of light switches throughout time. Any of these things are going to perform so much better when proper connection of switches is being observed.

Lastly, new light switches are so good to look at and add to the luxurious look of your or the house in general. So here are the ways on how to wire light switch:


Before trying to configure a light switch, be certain that you put off the power supply by turning off the circuit. If you don’t want to get toasted, follow this precaution carefully.

How to Wire a Light Switch

When you see that the switch you have installed doesn’t work, the initial thing to do is to be certain that the problem is inherent to the switch, not to lights nor the device it’s supposedly modifying.

To make sure that the switch isn’t really working, put on a new bulb into the fixture or plug a lamp that has been proven working or any other stuff to the receptacle of the switch-control.

If you wish to change a switch, be certain that the amp and voltage measurements found on the back of the switch that you have replaced and make sure that the ratings are the same.


When using an aluminum wire (the metal parts are silvery when looked at) be certain to provide a replacement switch that has the mark “CO/ALR”. Change the switch that isn’t marked with ones that are.

1. Starting off

When the power has been turned off from the switch, provide and use a screwdriver for you to be able to take away the plastic faceplate and remove all the present electrical box switch. Next, pull outwards the switch by not touching any live wires.


Provide an electric tester to test whether the wires which are for replacement (and the ones being replaced) aren’t active to make sure that you won’t get electrified. Put an analysis on the bare ground wires into the box and touch the other one on every terminal of wired screw of the switch or the bare tip of the black wire that carries the electricity into the switch. Voltage should not be showed or registered.

2. Going Further

Once you are certain that there is no power to the switch at all, bring out the screwdriver and remove the old switch (if you find one) away from its wires. If terminal screws are associated with the wires, let the screw turn anticlockwise to slacken its grip and detach the wires.


If screws are pushed into the terminal holes in the back of the switch, then push a little flat-bladed screwdriver in the slot preceding the connection of the screw holes in order for the wires be released.

3. Digging Deeper

If necessary, straighten of cut off the very tips of the circuit wires that are supposedly connected to the switch. Provide a wire stripper to cut off half inch insulation from the tips of the wire unless the tips are completely naked.

4. Getting There

Let loose the green grounding terminal screw found in the switch then make a loop out of the naked or green grounding wire by using a needle-nose pliers clockwise around the circuit, and lock the screw by tightening the wire in position.

Note: when the switches have a grounding wire of their own, coil the bare end combining both with circuit’s grounding wire by using pliers. Then, secure this with a wire nut or a compression sleeve made out of copper.

Remember: When metal boxes are the things that you’re using, then it is important to comprise a “jumper” grounding wire to the box from the wire connection.

5. Almost there

Switches that contain terminal screws are not a problem but whenever existent, make a loop of the circuit clockwise to the terminal screws in the same manner and lock screws. Never mind which wire goes to whichever terminal.


When the switch has push-in terminals alone located in the back, be certain that a half inch insulation is stripped from the tip of every circuit wire, straighten each tip using lineman’s pliers then push the wires into the terminal holes. Lastly, wiggle the connections of wires to be certain about their security.

6. Voila!

Make the switch right side up. Initially, fold the wires at the back of the switch and cautiously push the switch right into the box. Then, vertically align the switch by modifying the positions of the screw in the mounting slots.


Furthermore, be certain that the switch is flat when in the wall. If not, clean it out by using the break-off portions of the plaster ears of the switch that is intentionally for the shimming proves. Lastly, screw the switch right into the box.

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