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How to wire a light switch

how to wire a light switch

Hello readers,

In this post we will talk about “how to wire a light switch”.

The easiest way to wire a light switch, is if this is at the end of the circuit. You should carefully plan out the infrastructure of your whole wiring system, or if it is done then simply take a look and understand what wire goes where, so you wont short-circuit out everything.

Before beginning to do any work, make sure that the power is out (go to your fuze box and shut down the power in the house). Even with the electricity shut down, at first check to make sure that there is no electrical power in the wires with a testing tool, and only after that start touching the wires.

These kind of circuits can use 2 type of wires:
1. For the 20 amp circuits, usually the wires are of 12 gauge
2. For the 15 amp circuits, usually the wires are of 14 gauge

Now imagine, plan out where the switches go. Place them in hands reach depending of the heights of the persons in the house, or who you want to use that switch. Usually they are placed around 45-48 inches (140-150 centimeters high). Mainly switches are placed near doors for easy access once you are in the room, but you can place it wherever you want, but for esthetic reasons make sure all your switches are at the same level (otherwise it will look bad).

In the picture, plan i have posted the black wire is the one with the electricity in it. It is also called the “Hot” wire since as you all know electricity burns in most cases when in contact with humans.
This wire makes the connection between the switch and the light bulb. When placing the switch place it logically, top part always means ON and the bottom part means OFF, so you won’t get confused.
Usually electrical wiring is done with a three-line wiring. One is the positive charge, one is the negative and one is grounding.

Most switches have two little holes in the back, here is the place where the black wire enters and on the other side it leaves (there is a screw there, tighten that so the wire can’t get loose).
PS: make sure you take down the isolation from the wire (use either a knife for this or a specialized isolation remover tool)

The white wire is the negative charge this runs directly to the light bulb. The really thin wire in this picture is the grounding, it has to be connected to a point making connection with the wall so the grounding is complete.

Everywhere you have splices you have to isolate these with isolation tape. (in the picture these are illustrated with little cap shaped figures.

Usually the light bulb system comes itself with a white and black wiring system, so it will be easy to know which cable goes where when connecting them (if not obvious then check that the black wire connects to the light bulbs bottom part and the white one on the side part).

After all is done, make sure you test it. Turn back the fuze, but don’t turn the light simply test it with the testing device.

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that the negative and positive charged wires never ever cross paths, and also make sure your isolation is done properly.

Check the picture as many times as needed. IF you are still not sure that you made it, or can make this correctly refer to an electrician, cause electricity is not a toy, don’t play with it, do this only if you are sure you know what you are doing.

Hope this helped and made sense and be careful.

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This entry was posted on May 25, 2014 by and tagged .
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