DIY Light Switch Wiring

If your light switch fails to work, then you should replace it as soon as possible to avoid inconveniences. Most people assume that wiring a light switch is a complicated process, and therefore end up hiring a technician. However, you do not require any technical skills to wire a light switch. You only need some basic tools like a screwdriver, and you are good to go. Once you have the necessary tools and the switch that you want to install, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.

Switch off the Power at the Main Circuit Breaker

Before you can start the process, you need to switch off the power, to avoid electrical shock. Once you have switched off the power, remove the switch plate and then use a voltage tester to ensure there is no power flowing through the circuit.

Remove the Switch

Having ensured the circuit is dead, unscrew the switch from the switch box and then remove the attached wires. As you remove the wires, you will notice that two of them are attached to the switch. There is an incoming black wire, a black or red return wire and sometimes an earth wire, which can be either green, yellow or green with yellow stripes. You might find other wires in the switch box. However, you should only limit yourself to those connected directly to the switch. You may also encounter a white wire sealed with a black tape. The tape is a sign that the white wire is being used as a coloured wire, which means its neutral.

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Compare the Two Switches

As you install the switch, compare it with the old one to locate the electrical switch connectors. Since you have switched off the power, you can match up the two connectors easily. Don’t disconnect all the wires at once, since you might end up confused. Disconnect and connect one at a time.

Connect the Wires

Attach the wires to their specific locations and ensure they match the old switch. To connect a wire, peel off at least half an inch of insulation. You can easily do this using a wire stripper or even pliers. Twist the end of the wire to form a clockwise loop using long-nose pliers. Ensure the loop wraps at least two-thirds of the terminal but should not exceed three-quarters. Connect the wire to the screw through a clockwise approach. Once you tighten the screw, the clockwise force of the screw makes it tighter. It is important to ensure that the wire is as tight as possible around the screw since loose connections can trigger an electric fire.

Return the Switch

After inspecting the wired connections and ensuring everything is as it was on the old switch, return the new one to the switch box. Fasten the screws and again ensure it is tightly positioned on the switchboard. Return the switch plate and then switch on the power. Check your switch to ensure everything is working, as it should.

As you can see, you don’t have to be an electrician to wire a light switch. You just need the right tools for the job. If you follow the above instructions carefully, you no longer have to hire a technician to replace your light switches.