How to Wire a Light Switch and Outside Light Together

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Things You'll Need

  • Two-conductor in-wall wiring

  • Wire cutters/strippers

  • Wall switch

  • Screwdriver

  • Wire nuts

An outside light provides security and decoration for your home. For convenience, outdoor lights are usually wired to a light switch that can be operated from inside the house. Wiring the two together is a basic piece of electrical wiring work that is well within the abilities of the average do-it-yourselfer.


Step 1

Turn off the power, at the breaker box, to the circuit that powers the switch and light combination.

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Step 2

Route a two-conductor electrical wire from the location of the outside light to the location of the switch. In new construction or additions, this is easily done when the walls are unfinished stud walls. In finished rooms, it's usually necessary to route the wire behind the walls, pushing the wire along from an opening in the wall, like that which will be used for the switch or the opening for the outside light. Choose wire that is rated for in-wall use.

Step 3

Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the leads on both ends of the electrical wire with your wire cutters.

Step 4

Wiring the switch

On the switch end, make a hook on the end of the each wire, then loosen the screw terminals on the side of the light switch. Loop one wire around the top screw where the switch will be when it's in the "ON" position; then tighten the screw. Attach one of the wires coming from the circuit breaker to the other screw. Take the two remaining wires (one going to the light, and the other coming from the circuit breaker) and twist them together in a wire nut.


Step 5

Attach one wire at the light end to the white wire of the light by twisting them together with a wire nut, and the other wire to the black wire of the light by twisting them together with a wire nut. You've completed wiring the light switch and the outside light together. Turn the power back on and test the light/switch combination.


Never work on a live electrical circuit.


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