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Summary: Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches with photo diagram 2.

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Neat and easy to navigate. James from North Manchester, Indiana

Understanding the Basic Light Switch for Home Electrical Wiring

Electrical Video #1

How to Wire a Light Switch

Helping You to Wire It Right!

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See the Electrical Wiring Video #2 Below:

The wiring diagram shows a common electric switch also known as a light switch, wall switch, toggle switch, single pole switch or 1-pole switch.
Unless the instructions state otherwise, It does not matter which screw terminal the wires get attached to because this is just a single pole switch which means that there is one line of power that flows through the switch and it does not matter which way the electricity travels through the switch.
With this type of switch the electricity comes in through one connection and flows out through the other.

If you wanted to be logically correct you could wire the switch so the power comes in the bottom and out the top as the direction of travel of the position of the switch.
Some electrical devices are wired so the power enters the top and travels downward and leaves the controlling device through the bottom connections, however it really does not matter to the electrical wiring of this type of switch as long as the electricity is getting to the light fixture or the electrical device you are controlling.


Single Pole Switch Wiring Diagram #2

Single Pole switching provides switching from one location only. This light switch wiring diagram shows the power source starting at the switch box.

Single pole switch diagram #2
This switch wiring diagram shows the power source starting at the fixture box.
The white wire of the romex going to the switch is attached to the black line in the fixture box using a wirenut.
The white wire becomes the energized switch leg, as indicated by using black or red electrical tape.

Single pole switch diagram #2 shows the power source starting at the fixture box.

Wiring Lights and Switches

I'm wiring a house. How do I wire 4 can lights in the ceiling to be on 1 single pole switch. I have installed 12-3 cable in the ceiling. Should the power source be coming from ceiling?
Mike - this section of the website has a variety of fully described wiring diagrams that will assist you.
As for the location of the power source, because you are wiring the house then that is totally up to you to decide. The power source for the light switches may be in the ceiling or at the wall switch location; you just need to plan out your wiring from there out.

More about Wiring Switches

  • How to Fix Wiring Problems with Light Switches: The Most Common Problems with Wiring Light Switches and How to Fix Them. Wiring More Than One Light Switch in the Same Switch Box
  • How to Wire Lights and Switches
  • How to Wire Light Switches and Connect Light Fixture Wiring
  • How To Wire More Than One Light to a Switch: I have two new switches for exhaust fan and light, there are only two switches in the wall but three sets of wires because there is two light fixtures.
  • How to Connect Electrical Wiring for Switches and Outlets: The Most Common Method for Wiring Switches and Outlets from the Power Source.

Learn more about Wiring Switches

Electrical Wiring Video #2

Electrical Wiring Tips for Home Electrical Wiring Projects

Tripping Circuit Breaker, Outlet at a Wall Switch, Light Fixture without a Ground Wire, Help with Home Electrical Wiring Projects.

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Home Electrical Wiring Videos

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Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
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Learn more about How to Wire Outlets
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for the Homeowner, Handyman, Electrician and Building Inspector.
Methods for Home Electrical Wiring
Types of Light Switches and Lighting Controls How They are Wired
Wiring Diagrams for Light Switches
Wiring 3-Way Switches
Wiring 4-Way Switches
Wiring Dimmer Switches
How to Make Your Own Light Fixtures
....and much more.
» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
« Single Switch Wiring Diagram 13 Way Switch Wiring Diagram Part 1 »


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