How To Wire A Light Switch

Sometimes it just isn’t feasible to hire a professional to do a very small job, such as wiring a light switch in your home. Wiring a light switch is fairly easy as long as you follow a few simple steps.


1. Step one: Connect the bare wire, or ground wire, to the electrical box and then cut the wire off about an inch past the ground screw. Connect the black wire to one screw and the white wire, which is the hot wire, to another screw on the switch. (*This is the ONLY time that you should use the white wire for the conducting wire, or hot wire.) 

2. Step two: Most light switches will have a 2 wire #14 cable coming from the light box to the switch. At the light box, you will connect the black wire on the light switch to the black wire on the light itself. You will then connect the white wire on the light switch to the black conducting wire that comes out of the breaker. When you are connecting two wires by splicing them together, you will need to use a connector, called a marret. Make sure that the splice you have completed is strong and electrically sound, just like the original conductor was. NOTE: Sometimes your light switch might not be laid out in this fashion. In other cases, there will be a feeder wire from the breaker that enters the switch box.

3. Step three – Now you will connect the ground wires like you did before. Splice the two white wires together with a marret, and connect the black wire from the breaker to one side of the switch. The other black wire that goes to the light itself will be connected to the opposite side of the switch.

4. Step four – Now, you need to connect the ground wires to the box. You can do this in one of two ways: either put one wire under the ground screw and then use a marret to splice them together or you can put each different wire under a different screw. It is just a matter of preference on this step.

5. Step five – Connect the remaining white wire from the switch to the only silver screw on the light. Connect the remaining black wire from the switch to the brass screw on the light. Make sure that you don’t get these wires crossed or going to different screws.

6. Step six – replace all the covers to the light switch and you are finished. Make sure that you test the light out before considering this project complete.



WARNING: When working with electricity, it is always best to completely turn off any electrical circuits that you will be working with before you begin your work. Always follow all safety precautions and directions on the packaging of electrical products that you are working with to prevent injury.