How to Wire a Double Light Switch

How to Wire a Double Light Switch

A double light switch is a great way to control multiple lights from one location. Whether you’re replacing an old, dated switch with an updated modern model or installing two new fixtures in the same room, it’s easy to add a double switch to your circuit. However, you need to know how to wire it correctly if you want it to function properly.

First Steps

The first step in wiring a double switch is to disassemble the existing fixture and remove it from the small switch box embedded in your wall. This is often a relatively simple process, but you should always take precautions while working around electricity so you don’t get electrocuted.

Ensure that you have the right tools for the job: voltage tester, screwdrivers and wire strippers. These items will be invaluable for the next steps in your project.

Determine which side of the switch is for feed wires and which is for neutral wires. Many switches have a metal, rectangular tab that indicates which side you should work with. This is especially important because you don’t want to use the wrong side for your light, resulting in no power to the light at all!

Connect the Feed Wire to the Switch Terminates

The feed wire is a hot wire that gives electricity to the switch and then to your fixture. It is typically red or black and usually on the side with a metal tab. Attach one end of the wire to each terminal on the switch, then twist and tighten the screw down securely.

Connect the Neutral Wires to the Screw Terminals

The neutral wires in your switch are white. They are used to control the circuit, which can be closed by turning on the switch. They are also used to protect the electricity source from potential electrical fires or shorts. They should be attached to the switch’s brass or green terminal screws.

Splice All the Neutral Wires Together

To make things easier, you can splice all the neutral wires together and run them through a small box that fits them. This eliminates the need for pigtails and helps create a more tidy installation.

Pigtails, or “jumpers,” allow you to connect a single wire to multiple switches, making it possible to have more than two switches in one box. This can be helpful in a house with a limited number of electrical outlets and for those who want to add multiple switches without sacrificing the space in the box.

Splice a Pigtail for Each Switch

For a crowded electrical box with multiple switches, you can easily reduce the number of connections by splicing a pigtail for each switch. This makes it much easier to attach the switch to the box and to the light fixture or outlet that is powered by it.

This splice will also help you avoid a problem where the ground wire is connected to the power wire and not to the switch’s brass or green screw terminal. This can happen if the switch isn’t connected to the house’s electrical wiring properly, which can cause a dangerous situation.

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