Light switches Repair and Installation

Turn the lights on, it's time to learn about light switches

Light switches do exactly what their name implies: you flip it up and down and it toggles on and off electrical current usually going to a light or plug. Light Switches photo

How to wire a light switch really just depends on the job your switch has. If it's the only switch controlling a light, then it will be a single-pole switch. That means it handles one hot wire.

A three-way switch then is used when you have two different switches controlling the same light. Four-way and dual-pole types help you control larger things like high energy consumption appliances.

A light switch wiring diagram is pretty straightforward because wires simply connect to the back of the switch (for push-in wiring) or the sides (for screw-terminals).

3-way light switch wiring has an additional hot wire to the extra terminal. Some special switches have wire leads, allowing you to wire the light switch by connecting wires directly. Also, some models will have a grounding screw to help protect against possible electrical shock. Bathrooms, kitchens and basements should have these.

Use the following articles to help you with projects related to light switches and wiring. They will help you choose the right switch type and assist with wiring and installation.

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