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How to Wire a Light Switch - Diagram 1

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Summary: Easy to Understand Light Switch Wiring - Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring with Diagrams and Pictures with Step-By-Step Instructions to Guide You.

Understanding the Basic Light Switch for Home Electrical Wiring

Please Note: To illustrate the wiring of these switches, Switch Boxes and Fixture Boxes are not shown but are obviously required for every application.
These diagrams are shown as using the Romex wiring method.

These Romex cables contain a ground conductor which is required for all applications as well.
The ground conductors are always bonded together to insure the integrity of the ground path.

If you are using metal boxes, the ground conductor must be attached to each box by using a threaded ground screw or provided attachment. The frames of the switches which have a ground screw are to be attached to the ground conductor as required.

  • How to Wire a Single Switch


  • Featuring Wiring Diagrams for Single Pole Wall Switches Commonly used in the Home.

Explanation of Wiring Diagram #1

  • Switch wiring shows the Power Source (Power In) starts at the switch box.
  1. Circuit electrical wiring enters the switch box
  2. The Black Wire - Power In (source) attaches to one of the switch screw terminals
  3. Fixture wiring exits the switch box
  4. The Black Wire - Power Out wiring attaches to the other switch screw terminal
  5. The White Neutral wires splice together
  6. The ground wires splice together and bond to the switch and the box

NOTE: Switched 'White' wires are shown in a different wiring diagram

  • Single Switch Applications

  • Ceiling Light Fixtures
  • Switch Controlled Outlet
  • Half-Hot Wall Outlet
  • Ceiling Fan and Light
  • Single Wall Switch Types and Styles

  • Standard Toggle Switch
  • Flat Rocker Switch
  • Dimmer Switch
  • Some Home Automation Switches
Single Pole Switching Diagram


Wiring a Single Pole Switch

Question: Your example shows 2 wire Romex but most Romex I have seen has three wires one white-one black and an un-shrouded copper ground wire. What is the correct connection for this ground wire?

Answer: As explained in this page above: These Type-NM cables contain a ground conductor which is required for all applications as well. The ground conductors are always bonded together to insure the integrity of the ground path.

More about Wiring Switches

Learn more about wiring switches

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Methods of Home Electrical Wiring
Wiring Diagrams for Switches, with 3-Way, 4-Way
Wiring Diagrams for 120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlets
Wiring Diagrams for GFCIs'
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