How to wire a light switch | Future House Store

How to wire a light switch | Future House Store

wiring a light switch

Electrical projects can be tricky and difficult for many people, but some of them are easy to do, like wiring a light switch, which is so simple that anyone can do it. With the right knowledge and a few steps, anyone can do this job without having to hire a professional electrician. every homeowner should know how to wire a light switch. As a homeowner, you probably need to change your light switch many times, and hiring an electrician to do it is not the ideal option when you can do it in just a few minutes.

wiring a light switch on the wall electrical connection

Reading: How to connect switch for light

how a single pole light switch works

The simplest form of a light switch in every house is the single pole light switch. Standard single pole light switches have two screw terminals with a ground screw. one of them is for a “hot” wire that feeds the switch from the power supply. the second screw terminal is for another live wire known as the switch leg that runs between the light fixture and the switch. the switch leg carries power to the light when the switch is turned on. The purpose of the ground screw is to connect the ground wire of the circuit. single pole light switches do not connect to the neutral circuit wire.

To get the job done, follow our step-by-step guide on how to wire a light switch below. It is essential to follow the instructions labeled on your specific light switch as the instructions may be different for the one you purchased or vary in terms of technology which needs a different light switch installation procedure.

how to wire a single pole light switch

It’s not a difficult task to wire a light switch, but you must have basic electrical knowledge to do the job safely. In case you have not done such wiring work before, you should hire an electrician for this task. Once you know how to wire a light switch, you’ll find it takes no more than 10 minutes to wire a light switch. the process requires no advanced tools and the steps are similar, whether you’re swapping out a broken switch or upgrading, say, a dimmer.

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Basic knowledge of wires in single pole light switch

basic knowledge of cables in single pole light switch

the brown wire is the live or load wire. sometimes it is also red or black.

blue or white is the neutral wire.

The bare copper wire (sometimes with a yellow jacket with green stripes) is the ground wire.

A single pole light switch needs a brown wire to connect to the light switch and then the brown wire connecting the switch to your light. the switch acts as a power supply cutoff to prevent it from reaching the light switch.

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The neutral or blue wire bypasses the light switch and goes directly to the light fixture. This cable is necessary to complete the electrical circuit.

copper, brass or yellow/green ground wire must be connected to light switch and light.

tools and materials needed

single pole light switch

standard single pole light switch one gang white


Pliers red and black for electrical work


different types of screwdrivers Philips one and flat one

insulating tape

Electrical tape colour coded for the electrical insulation


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Multitool very useful piece of equipment

instructions for wiring a light switch

Safety first! Safety at work is really important!

1. safety first

before you start anything, turn off the power supply and make sure there is no power to the circuit you will be working on. it’s important to do this first thing or else it can be fatal! turning off the power supply means turning off the switch in the breaker box that controls the switch you want to replace.

2. unscrew switch plate

When you are sure that the power supply to this specific switch has been interrupted, take a screwdriver and start unscrewing the switch plate. many switch plates are screwed down with 2 small flat head screws. after that unscrew the old switch in case you want to replace the switch with a new one. now pull the switch gently while the wires are still connected to the circuit for now.

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3. take a close look at the wires

note the layout of all cables and how they are connected. you will see a wire under each terminal. one will be the brown/black/red wire which is the hot wire and the other can be blue or white. one is the power feed and the other is the switch leg as described earlier in this article. The switch terminals are interchangeable so you don’t have to remember which wire is connected to which terminal. additionally, you will see a copper or yellow/green brass wire known as a ground wire that connects to a screw on the left side of the switch.

4. disconnect switch wiring

To remove the old wiring from the right switch and connect a light switch, loosen the screws holding the terminal wires. When finished, remove the wires from the terminal and, if necessary, use pliers to untie tight coils of wire around the terminal. in the same way, untie and release the ground cable. now you could take the switch out of the wall

5. examine the condition of the cables

Check the ends of the cables for wear or damage. remove the frayed part of the cable with the help of a wire cutter or multi-tool. leave about a half inch of bare wire on each length. This is because cables weaken over time with continuous use and stress, so you must ensure that no part of the cable is damaged when they are reconnected to the terminals.

6. bend the wires to make a round hook

Using pliers or a multi-tool, bend the exposed portion of each wire and loop around the hook. make sure the hooks are tight enough to fit securely and neatly around the bend of the screws on the light switch.

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7. connect new single pole light switch

Now connect the wires to the light switch through the hooked ends. start with the black wire and the white wire, attaching them to the screws on both terminals on the right side. the hooks of both cables should be directed clockwise. now find the green ground wire and screw it into the bottom left hand side. you can use needle nose pliers if needed to hold the wires in place while you tighten each screw.

8. cover and complete the task

Wrap insulating tape around the terminal screws to protect it from fire. now feed the wires into the box and screw the switch back into the wall. now replace the switch plate cover and turn on the circuit breaker to restore power.

9. test your new light switch

After turning on the circuit breaker, test the switch to see if it works properly and marvel at its electrical abilities. this is all and you are ready to light up your place

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