DIY Remote Light Switch

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A remote light switch allows you to control your lighting wirelessly, much as you do with your television or cable box. These switches can take the place of standard light switches and are also useful for people with impaired mobility and other problems. Installing a remote light switch is a fairly simple do-it-yourself project that helps a homeowner who's looking to gain some experience in working with electricity. As with any electrical project, safety is key, and you need to make sure that the power is off to your circuit before starting.

Things You'll Need

  • Voltmeter
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wire nut
  • Electrical tape
  • Shut off the power on the circuit where you want to install the remote light switch. Go to the main circuit breaker in the house. Locate the circuit breaker that controls the power to where you will be working and switch it to the "Off" or "0" position.

  • Test the wires to ensure that the power is shut off. Hold one terminal on the voltmeter to the black wire in the wall box. Touch the other terminal to the white wire. The meter on the voltmeter should remain still or register "0." If not, you haven't turned off the correct circuit.

    If there is a light switch currently in the wall box, remove it by unscrewing the fasteners at the top and the bottom holding it in place in the box. Pull the switch out of the box. Unscrew the wires from the terminals on the side.

  • Connect the remote light switch. Twist the white wire on the remote switch to the white wire coming into the wall box. Connect the black wire coming in to the black wire on the remote switch. Twist the ends of the wires together with a wire nut. Secure them in place with electrical tape. Connect the green (ground) wire to the copper wire running into the box.

  • Push the wires gently into the box. Secure the remote light switch in the wall box with the screws at the top and bottom.

  • Restore power to the circuit.

  • Test the remote light switch by pointing your remote at the switch and turning it off or on. If it doesn't work, turn off the power to the circuit and check your wiring. Sometimes wiring comes loose when you push it back into the wall box.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the wall box is metal, connect the green wire from the switch to the back of the box with a screw for grounding.

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References

  • Photo Credit light bulb image by Photosani from Fotolia.com
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