How to Wire a House Light Switch

If you're remodeling, adding an addition, or just maintaining your home, knowing how to wire a light switch is a handy skill to have.

It's not very hard to do, and you'll save a lot of money over having an electrician in to do the job. The techniques are simple, the tools minimal and the skills are basic.

Turn off the power to the switch. Flip the circuit breaker so that there is no power flowing on the line where you'll be wiring the switch.

Strip the wire on the black and white leads of your wiring. The switch interrupts the circuit, so you'll have one pair of wires (black and white) coming from the circuit breaker, and another pair leading to the light. Strip back the insulation from each set of wires so that you have 3/8 to 1/2 inch of wire on each of the white and black wires.

Attach one black wire to each of the screw terminals on the light switch. Tighten the screw down so that the wires are secure.

Attach the two white wires together with a wire nut.

Turn on the circuit breaker and test the operation of the switch. If it works properly, screw the switch into position in your gang box and place the cover over it.

Things You Will Need

  • Light switch
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Wire nuts

Warning

  • Never work on a live electrical circuit -- always shut off the power first.

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.