Tips on how to Wire A Switch & Light Diagram

Wireless White 2 Gang 1 Way Light Switch Touch ScreenWiring a light to a wall switch is a superb project for beginning do-it-yourselfers to enhance their wiring skills. The project is just not overly difficult and offers an opportunity to learn to run wires behind walls and ceilings, the right way to tap into existing branch circuits and make small drywall patches. For more the more experienced, wiring a switch is a simple afternoon project. Replacing floor lamps with ceiling lights changes the looks of any room and frees up power receptacles for other uses.

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Things You will Need
Keyhole saw or utility knife
Switch box
Light switch
Fish tape
2-wire NM cable
Electrical tape
Electrical connectors
Light fixture
Drywall patch
Putty knife

Turn off the power to the circuit you’re engaged on on the service panel.

Locate the top-of-run wall receptacle. Unlike other outlets, it has only one set of wires attached. Remove the outlet from its box within the wall but do not disconnect any wires. You’ll use this receptacle as the ability source for the sunshine and switch combo.

Cut the holes for the switch and the ceiling fixture using the utility knife or keyhole saw. The fixture hole must be large enough to insert a brace bar and junction box. Use the wall switch box as a template for the switch hole.

Cut holes for the wiring above the switch hole and receptacle hole. Make 1×2-inch cuts above these holes where the wall and ceiling meet. You’ll feed the cables through these holes and patch them later.

Attach the switch box to the drywall using the screws that came with the box. Attach the brace bar to the ceiling joists above the fixture hole with wood screws. Affix the junction box to the bar so that it’s centered over the hole and flush with the ceiling.

Run the electrical cables to the junction box. Thread the fish tape through an access hole and feed it across the ceiling until it reaches the junction box. Attach 2-wire NM cable to the tip of the fish tape and pull the tape back toward the access hole. Disconnect the tape and cable and drop the cable right down to the switch or outlet box. Repeat this process for the opposite box and leave about six inches of cable exposed through each hole.

Connect the black and white wires to the switch�s screw terminals. Connect the green wire to the green ground screw on the switch. Wrap a chunk of electrical tape across the white wire to recode it as a hot wire. Attach the switch to its box.

Connect the black wire to the vacant brass terminal on the outlet and the white wire to the silver terminal. Connect the ground wire to the bottom terminal. Replace the outlet.

Connect the wires at the light fixture with plastic electrical connectors. Connect the white wire from the switch to the black wire on the fixture. Recode this white wire with electrical tape. Connect the black wires together and connect the outlet�s white wire to the fixture�s white wire. Connect the green ground wires together.

Hang the fixture following the manufacturer�s instructions and patch the access holes with drywall patch.

Tips Better Homes and Gardens; 2003
“Wiring”; Creative Homeowner; 2009

Photo Credit light switch image by David Ng from
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