How to Hook Up a Switch to a Single Christmas Light & a Battery


Hooking up a Christmas light to a battery is a simple procedure, but once done it leaves you with a problem: how to turn off the light. The best way around the problem is also simple: wire a small switch between one of the wires that connects the Christmas light to the battery.

Things You'll Need

  • Battery (same voltage as Christmas light)
  • Knife
  • Wire strippers
  • Switch
  • Screwdriver
  • Cut one of the wires in half centrally between the battery and the Christmas light, using a knife. This cuts the power and the light goes off. It's not dangerous because the voltage from the battery is very low, so you don't need to disconnect the wire first. Use wire strippers to remove about one-quarter inch of plastic from the two ends of the wire you just cut.

  • Remove the cover from the switch you're going to hook up. Use a small screwdriver to remove the screw from the cover, if it fits this way, or if the cover clips on, pry off the cover using your fingers.

  • Loosen the two terminal screws on the switch using a screwdriver. Don't remove them completely.

  • Insert the end of the wire you cut that connects to the battery under one of the terminal screws on the switch. Tighten the screw.

  • Insert the opposite end of the other wire that connects to the Christmas light under the other terminal screw on the switch. Tighten the screw.

  • Replace the cover. Either clip it back in place using your fingers, or use the screwdriver to tighten the screw that holds the cover in place. Your Christmas light is on if the switch is in the "on" position. If it's not, then turn on the switch to illuminate your Christmas light.

Tips & Warnings

  • The voltage from the battery needs to match the voltage of the Christmas light. The light bulb has the voltage marked on the side of it. For example, if your Christmas light needs 1.5 volts, then you need to use a 1.5 volt battery, such as a regular AA battery, or if the light needs 9 volts, then use a 9 volt battery; one that powers smoke detectors would be fine.


  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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