How to switch a single pole light to


In this blog post, we’ll be showing you how to quickwire a single-pole switch for easy installation.

Single pole light switches are the most common switches found in homes. A single pole switch controls a light or lights from one location. Single pole switches have two screw terminals, and some single pole switches also come with a green screw for the ground wire. Leviton offers Decora style and traditional toggle style single pole switches.

Tools Needed

Voltage Tester Electrical Tape Wire Strippers Electrician’s Pliers Flat Head Screwdriver Phillips Screwdriver


Warning: To avoid fire, shock, or death, turn off power at the circuit breaker or fuse and test that the power is off, using a voltage tester, before wiring!

1) Remove the wall plate using a flat head screwdriver, then remove the old light switch from the wall box.

2) There should be three wires coming out of the wall box. Using your pliers, make a “shephard’s hook” at the...

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The system was designed with a different philosophy: rather than turn 4 lights off, dim all to 50%. Now you want to reinvent that. OK.

There are two ways I can think of. One is to rewire the ceiling, which involves a lot of fishing, luck, and/or demolition and reconstruction of the finished ceiling. You may need a bigger switch box to accommodate 2 switches, because I have not seen duplex dimmer switches meant to fit in a 1-gang box.

The other way is to use home-automation technology to make each lamp individually addressible. Then use a smart switch for coarse control, or an "app" on a compatible smart device (iPod/iPhone/android) for very precise control (e.g. Lights 2, 7 and 8 on 40%, light 6 on 100%). They don't like us to recommend particular brands or peoducts here since questions tend to be archived for a long time, but you'll find plenty on the market.

If you're swinging toward replacing with smart fixtures, think about also making the leap to LED. They...

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From time to time electrical switches will wear out from years of being flipped on and off. This how-to article will teach you why switches don’t work and how to correct the problem. Learn how to safely replace a broken or outdated switch like a professional.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Less than thirty minutes.

Here's How:

Reasons for Changing a Switch

There are four main reasons to change a single pole switch.

One is obvious. It doesn’t work anymore.Another reason may be you’ve updated the lighting in your home and increased the load on the circuit.If you have ever turned a switch on and it sizzled or popped, you now know the third reason. The contacts in the switches are subjected to endless flipping on and off. Over time, these contacts become worn and, hence, the sizzling and popping.The last is because your old switch may not be grounded. Always use a grounded...
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Let’s say that you are doing some remodeling and you need to move an existing single pole light switch. Well, the easiest way to do this is to change the existing switch box into a junction box.
To do this, turn off the power and verify that it is off at the light switch. Remove the light switch and determine which wire is the power supply and which one goes to the light. Install a new 2 conductor cable with a ground to your new light switch location.
The wire size is determined by the circuit breaker size. A 20 amp circuit requires 12 AWG wire and a 15 amp circuit requires 14 AWG wire. Typically, lighting circuits are on a 15 amp breaker in a home which would require 14/2 NM cable with ground (romex).
Install the new switch box and insert your 2 conductor cable with ground. When you strip the sheath off of the cable you are required to leave at least 1/2 inch of the sheath extending into the switch box.

Be sure to support the 2 conductor cable...

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How To Wire A Single Pole Light Switch Diagram

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How To Wire A Single Pole Light Switch Diagram #1

How To Wire A Single Pole Light Switch Diagram #2

How To Wire A Single Pole Light Switch Diagram...

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How To Wire a Single-Pole Switch - Turn Off the Power First!

Broken switches can short out, leave you susceptible to live parts and increase the chance for electrical shock. As with any electrical repair you may perform, safety should be your number one concern. Turn off the circuit you will be working on and double-check it with a circuit tester or voltmeter. Never assume the circuit is off! This applies to new and existing electrical installations.

How To Wire a Single-Pole Switch - Remove The Existing Switch (If Necessary)

Remove the switch cover plate by removing the two screws. The switch is now exposed. Remove the two screws holding the switch in place and carefully pull out the switch. This is the time to take the tester once more and triple check to see if the circuit is off. Test from the green ground screw or the metal box to the two brass screws on the switch. If there’s no power then you can continue. Loosen the two brass screws and the ground...

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From: Internet Comment

[Summary]Understanding Single Pole and 3-Way Switches The basics of single pole switches and 3-way switches is demonstrated by Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician. Other he... About Switches: Single Pole, Three-Way, Four


Understanding Single Pole and 3-Way Switches The basics of single pole switches and 3-way switches is demonstrated by Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician. Other he...

About Switches: Single Pole, Three-Way, Four-Way, Dimmer, Occupancy, More

Turn a switch on and it completes the circuit, letting electricity flow through it. Turn it off and the circuit is broken; the switch creates a gap that stops the flow.

Essential switches
The most common household switch, a single-pole, has two terminals and simply turns power on or off.

A three-way switch has three...

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In this video, I explain just how easy it is to add a three-way switch to an existing single pole (one) switch lighting circuit. Now if you are trying to install a completely new 3-way circuit please my video with an article on how to install a three-way. Otherwise, this may confuse you a little.

Even if you hire an electrician to do the job for you. You can still save a few bucks by installing the wire yourself. I mean that’s the hardest part to this.

The hardest part will be running the 4 wire from the existing switch to the new one. Take a look at my video and ask any questions if you need help.

Three way switch wiring

How to install a three way switch to a existing one way switch

You can also view this video right on VIDEO...

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Shannon from shows you how to wire a single pole light switch electrical setup.

If you have questions about your home improvement projects, stop by the forum on our website, where Shannon will answer your questions in detail for free.





Video © 2017 SKS Media. Videos produced by SKS Media ( are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in the videos is intended to give general guidance to simplify DIY (do it yourself) projects. Because tools, products, materials, equipment, techniques, building codes and local regulations are constantly changing, SKS Media cannot and does not...

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Is a switch the cause of your lighting problems? How do you test a single pole switch to see if it is faulty? Connecting or replacing the switch is not difficult, as long as you have knowledgeable assistance. The opinions of verified electrical Experts will provide you with the guidance you need to resolve your problems. Read below where Experts have answered questions on single pole switches.

What could cause a new single pole switch to work in reverse?

Case Details: For the dimmer UP is brighter and DOWN is dimmer. The previous switch worked perfectly on the same connections.

There are two possible reasons. One is that the switch is a 3 way one. In that case, it is possible that the operation could be reversed when connected to a single pole circuit. If that not the case, then there could be a manufacturing defect. This is not usual, but it can happen. The switch should be replaced under warranty.

What can be done if a newly installed single pole...

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How to replace a single pole switch.

This is a fairly simple thing to do with only a few things to keep in mind.

1) Turn the power off to the circuit.
2) Double check that the power is off.
3) Remove cover plate.
4) Remove existing switch from the box while keeping the wires attached.
5) If it is a single pole switch you should have 3 wires connected to it, the feed, the switch leg and the ground.
6) Remove wires from existing switch and connect them to the new switch.
7) Install the new switch back into the box.
8) Replace the cover plate.
9) Turn the power back on.
10) Test your work.

Installing a new light and switch.

1) Determine the current for the circuit, that will determine what size cable you will use.

2) Run your feed cable from the electrical panel to your switch location.

3) Run your switch cable from the switch location to the light fixture or...

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A Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) switch is a switch that only has a single input and can connect to and switch between 2 outputs. This means it has one input terminal and two output terminals.

A Single Pole Double Throw switch can serve a variety of functions in a circuit. It can serve as an on-off switch, depending on how the circuit is wired. Or it can serve to connect circuits to any 2 various paths that a circuit may need to function in. For example, a SPDT switch can connect to create a Ready Mode and a Standby Mode in a printer.

Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) Switch Circuit

Below is an example of a circuit which utilizes a single pole double throw switch.

You can see above how a SPDT can be wired up to put a circuit in either one of two modes. When the switch is connected one way, the lamp will turn on, while the LED is off. When connected the other way, the LED then turns on, and the lamp shuts off.

This shows...

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