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How to Replace an Electric Light Switch

If you want to update your light switch front panel but always thought it was too much of a difficult task. Well, we’ve created this guide to talk you through the replacement process.

Once you know how to change one you’ll be wanting to change all of your light switches - Save yourself some money get to doing the DIY in your home

  What You Will Need:

  Step 1 - Safety Advice

Safety first: All electrical circuit work should be carried out by competent persons and in accordance with any regulations. If you are in any doubt do contact a qualified electrician before carrying out any work.

  Step 2 - Removing the Front Panel

To begin, isolate the power at the main fuse box, next you need to remove the front of the switch plate by undoing the two screws. With the screws removed from the light switch you can now ease out the cabling from the wall by pulling on the fascia ever so slightly.

To double check there's no electrical current in the switch at all - we recommend testing the switch with a multimeter.

  Step 3 - Checking With the Multimeter

Using a multimeter you need to put one probe on the earth wire; then use the other probe to check the live wires.

While having the highest AC setting available, you should get a reading on the meter which should not change this confirms that the power is disconnected.

  Step 4 - Fitting the Connections

Once the connections have been checked and you’ve made sure there's no electrical power on the light switch you can now undo the wires and replace the light fascia.

Now before you remove the wires it's worth pointing out that the connections are marked as L, L1 and L2. Therefore when you are replacing the front part of the light switch make sure these wires go in exactly the same place.

Let's start by undoing 'L' first.

  Step 5 - Fitting the Other Wires

Once disconnected ensure that there’s enough copper exposed. Once you're happy then you are going to put 'L' into the same position on the new light switch fascia.

You might have to undo the screws on your new light switch first. However once 'L' is in place you can then do the same with 'L1' and 'L2'. With all the live wires connected it's essential you give them a little tug to ensure that they are fitted correctly.

  Step 6 - Fitting an Earth Wire

Once you're happy what you next need to do is to connect the earth wire.

Please Note:

If you had a plastic switch before it may not have been necessary that the earth wire was connected to a terminal, whereas if you are fitting a chrome front for the light switch - the earth will need to be connected.

Of course this means that you’d have to connect the earth wire to the earth terminal. If you have a very long piece of insulation covering the copper wire - you will want to swap it with a shorter piece of insulation so there's just enough copper exposed to connect to the terminal.

Or of course you could strip back some of the insulation giving you back some copper wire to fit to the terminal. With the earth wire now in place it's just a case of feeding the wires back into the switch making sure you don't pinch them.

  Step 7 - Reassembly

With the earth wire in place, you can then screw the front of the switch into place. With the screws firmly in place make sure that you reset the fuse at your fuse board to ensure that the switch is working correctly.

And there we have it one new light switch fitted. For any other easy to follow DIY guides - don’t forget to check out our library of articles in our advice centre.

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