How to Install a Remote Light Switch


Remote light switches allow the convenience of operating a light fixture from two different locations. The technology consists of a wireless switch with a transmitting device and a receiving unit which activates the lighting circuit. Ordinarily, obtaining this capability would require a considerable amount of costly electrical work and materials. Remote light switches are not only affordable and can be installed in 20 minutes with a few tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Voltage tester
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Turn the electrical power supply off at the main panel for the lighting circuit. Tag or otherwise mark the circuit breaker to alert others of the work being done.

  • Remove the cover plate screw and the cover plate of the existing wall switch with the appropriate screwdriver.

  • Test the exposed switch terminal wires with a voltage tester to ensure no power exists. Touch the two tester probes to the two switch terminals to perform the test.

  • Remove the two switch bracket screws with a screwdriver. Turn the screws counterclockwise.

  • Pull the switch from the electrical box as far as the wiring will allow.

  • Disconnect the two insulated wires from their respective switch terminal screws and the bare copper wire from the green ground post using a screwdriver. Loosen the screws and remove the wires from the switch.

  • Cut the loops from the wires with wire cutters. Strip 3/4 inch of insulation from each of the insulated wires.

  • Connect the green receiver unit switch wire to the bare copper ground wire from the box with a wire nut. Tighten the wire nut clockwise by hand.

  • Connect the two remaining wires from the receiver to the two insulated wires from the box with wire nuts. Tighten the nuts.

  • Wrap electrical tape clockwise around each of the wire nuts. Be sure to overlap the tape from the nut to the wire.

  • Push the wiring and the receiver unit into the box and secure it with the two bracket screws. Tighten clockwise with a screwdriver.

  • Install the receiver cover plate and secure it with the plate screws. Tighten with a screwdriver.

  • Install the battery in the transmitter switch following the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Install the remote switch in the chosen location according to recommended methods.

  • Restore electrical power and remove tags or markings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remote switches can be secured to walls using screws and wall anchors or adhered with double-stick tape. They can be operated from most locations in the home and freely moved at any time.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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