How To Install A Light Switch

Are your light switches old and dingy? Replacing a regular light switch with a decorative one can add some design flair to any room in your home. Watch this video to learn how to replace a single-pole light switch, as well as the basics on how to work with electricity safely

If you’re unsure about working with electricity, you should call a licensed electrician to do the work. But if you’re ready to give it a try, let’s go ahead and get started.

For this project, you’ll need: Single-pole switch, standard slotted-tip screwdriver, continuity tester, wire strippers, phillips tip screwdriver, work light, voltage tester, needle-nose pliers.


Find the breaker or fuse that shuts off the circuit that you will be working on. Make sure it’s in the off position.

Double check that the power is off by testing the light switch you’re replacing. Flip it on and off several times. If the light stays off, you’ve turned off the right circuit.

You can use a voltage tester near the light switch to check for an electric current.

Take off the switch plate by removing the two screws that secure it to the light switch. Use an alternative light source if you can’t see what you’re doing.

Remove the screws holding the switch to the electrical box in the wall.

Pull the switch out of the box. Remember the way the existing switch is wired. Take a picture or write down if needed.

Remove the old electrical wires.

Make sure the new switch is oriented properly before putting it in. The word “TOP” should tell you which end goes up.

Reconnect the wires. Wrap a little more than 1/2-inch of the stripped wire clockwise around the terminal screws and tighten with a screwdriver. Connect the black wire to the brass screw and the neutral wire to the silver screw. Connect the ground wire to the green screw on the opposite side of the switch.

Carefully push the switch back into the box and secure it with screws.

Screw the cover plate back on.

Turn the power back on and test the connection.

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