Changing A Light Switch

14July 2015

Most of us are afraid to attempt many DIY projects when they have anything to do with the electrical systems in our homes. Obviously electricity can be dangerous, so it is always wise to leave these jobs to the professionals when you’re not confident. However, for those of you who are brave enough to attempt these projects, there are some simple tasks that be achieved safely if you have the right instruction.

The video above shows exactly how you can change a light switch in your home, as well as giving some basic instruction on how the different types of light switches work.

Before attempting to replace your light switches in your home, it would be help to have a little knowledge on the different options that you have and how they work, so that you can be sure to select the correct type for your needs. The three basic pieces of information that you need to know before purchasing your light switch are:

  1. What appliance or appliances does the light switch control (is it a simple light, or a light combined with a fan)?
  2. How many switches in the room can control that appliance?
  3. Do you want a dimmer switch or a regular light switch?

Once you have the above information in hand, then you can go to your local hardware store to make the purchase.

changing light switch Bentonville ARThe very first thing you need to do, when working on any electrical project in your home is to TURN OFF THE POWER at the main service panel. You don’t have to turn off the power to the whole house, but you do need to identify which switch supplies the appliance that you’re working on with power and turn that off.  An additional safety action you can perform is to use a circuit tester (after removing the switch panel) to ensure that the power has definitely been interrupted BEFORE you start unscrewing and touching any wires.

Rather than trying to explain here in writing how to wire up the different types of switches, it would be better for you to watch the video above.

Pro-Tip: Instead of removing the old switch completely, and then inserting the new switch, you can simple remove one wire at a time from the old switch, while placing it into the new switch, before moving onto the next wire.

When you’re taking on any kind of electrical project in your home, always think safety, follow your local codes, and if you have any doubt…always call your local licensed electrician.

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