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Guidelines: How to Wire Rock Lights to A Switch


How to wire rock lights to a switch. Hello. Welcome back, everyone. If you’ve been with me before, if this is your first time, glad you’re stopping in for the first time. So this tutorial is about how to wire a single pole light switch. And for those of you who have done this many times, this will be repetitious for you.

But for those of you who haven’t done it before, you might find this to be very helpful. It could be that you’re running brand new lights in your house, or maybe you’re just swapping out an old light switch trying to put a new one in.

You want to make sure you’re doing it the right way or the wires are hanging out, you forgot where they were and where to put them. So we’re going to help you with all that today. The first step of this tutorial is going to talk about when the power is going to the light switch first and then to the light.

And then in the second part of the tutorial, we’re going to talk about when the power is going to the light first and then to the light switch second. So stay with us and we’ll take you through it. Okay.

One more thing we forgot to say is you need to check your local electrical codes, because even though what we’re taking you through here is very basic, there’s a chance that your local code might instruct you to do it just a little bit differently. So if you watch this tutorial and before you actually do the work, just check your local code.

We are also going to mention that we are going to put a link in the description below to a blog post that will walk you through this in text in detail. If you’d like to read about it there. Okay. Here we are. I made this little diagram here.

how to wire rock lights to a switch
Home Electric Installation Theme. Preparing Electric Cables For the Outlet Point. Construction Theme.

This board just screwed in a few pieces here to make the illustration. And before I get into this, I just want to explain what a single pole light switch does and how it works. It’s really fairly simple.

So what you have basically are just two screws on the one side of the single pole switch and the other side is a ground screw. But basically what happens is that the power, which is the black wire, comes in and it wants to go back out to the light here.

As soon as you flip the switch, it creates a connection between the two screws. So you flip the switch off. The connection between the two screws is broken, flip it back on. And now the power can run basically from this screw to this screw. That’s the simplest way to explain it.

Wire the switch

Okay. So now we’re going to show you how to wire the switch when the power, which is this line here is coming into the switch first and then to the light second. When that is occurring, the black wire, which is the hot wire, will come into the light switch, and you want to attach that to the bottom screw in the switch.

This is the bottom. Usually the switch will have an indicator should say top, or just read the words and read them right side up.

That’ll be the top of the light switch. Okay. So the black wire will come in and it will go to the bottom screw. And then you take another line or the other black wire coming in goes to the top. Okay.

Now the white wire coming in is the neutral. Those will not get wired to the switch at all. They’ll get wired together on a wire nut. Okay. And then from there, this line will go to the Lightbox and the ceiling, and you’re going to wire up with the black wire on the light fixture and the neutral to the neutral white wire on the light fixture as well.

Okay. It’s really that simple. Now, when it comes to ground, in this case, we want to do is take the ground wire, which is usually bare in a 14 or twelve gauge Romex wire, and you want to cap them together. One of them is coming in from the hot wire. One of them is going out across to the light, and we created a little jumper down here that’s going to go onto the screw.

how to wire rock lights to a switch

The ground screw

Here the ground screw on the light switch. Now, keep in mind that some ordinances and the code in some towns might also want you to run a jumper to the box itself. And you could potentially just do that. You don’t necessarily have to again, check your code, attach it to the light switch. The light switch is going to be screwed into a metal box.

And then if it’s all tied in together, you can, for example, put the ground on one of these screws inside the box, too. Now, keep in mind if you’re working with a plastic old work box like this or a new work box, I get confused as to what they call it. Basically a plastic box.

This won’t be a ground for you. So when you’re using one of these, you’re going to have to wire it the ground right to the switch.

Okay. Now following the ground to the other side, the fixture has a green wire, which is ground. Okay. And in this case, we’re just tying it right into this as well. So this green wire is not going into the light, but it’s just attaching itself to the housing of the light fixture.

Each light fixture will be a little different. Some might not have the green wire coming off. Some just might have a ground screw that you’re going to tie off to. Either way, just see what you’re working with. Read the instructions on the light fixture, and you should be fine.


So now we have the thing rewired to show you what will happen when the power comes in and goes to the light fixture first. And to the switch second, or at least the line flows in that way, the flow of the current still actually goes to the switch before heading back to the light. And we’ll show you how that works here. So here’s the power line coming in. Okay.

Remember how we said the black is the hot. Well, the black is going to head towards the switch. Okay, but before we get to that, let’s talk about that first. So the black heading to the switch is actually going to be paired up with a white wire here that we’re marking with electrical tape in black. Electrical tape is also being hot.

The other way to handle that is get this piece of wire in a twelve three or 14 three piece of wire. And what that three means? Well, right now these are 14 two, and that means you get the neutral and the black two wires. We’re not counting the ground here in a 14 three. You also get a red wire, which would look like this if it was encased inside the insulation.

And so if you had 14 three wire instead of using the white, you would use the red. And then when you come to the other side here, the red would be coming into the bottom of the switch. We’re just using the white for this purpose here. So that way, for example, if you had the wire already run in the house and you didn’t have 14, three or twelve three wire, you could still use this white wire. But you would Mark it with the black electrical tape or a black Sharpie indicating that it was the hot wire, because again, it’s coming in here hot black.

Now, this is still a hot wire, even though it’s white into the bottom of the switch. Like we showed you before. Flip the switch out the top, back through. And now the black hot. See, black hot out, black hot in to the light switch.

Okay. So hopefully you understand that now the copper is the ground here again, paired off to the green wire on the light fixture and then heading back also twisted to go back to the light switch to ground that as well. Okay. So we are hoping that was illustrated for you in a way that’s easily enough to understand.

If you do have any questions, you can post them down below in the comments and either myself or I’m sure one of the dozens of electricians who want to come here and explain how they would do it differently can also chime in as well.

Welcome for that feedback. But again, check your local code. You can on this one, use either the white if you Mark it or use the other wire that’s got the red line in there, too, which is exactly what you’d want to do. If I were wiring a brand new house, I would use the 14 three or the twelve three wire. Okay.

how to wire rock lights to a switch

Hopefully that helps you if it did, please keep reading other blogpost. Look for the next tutorial that will talk about how to wire a three way switch that will come at some point in the near future. Thanks again. Talk to you soon.