Add a Touch Sensor to a Light Fixture

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How to Install a Touch Sensor Switch or a Remote Control Switch for a Light Fixture: Can I wire a touch sensor switch or a remote control for a light fixture?

Light Fixture Touch Switch or Remote Control

Electrical Question: Can I wire a touch sensor switch or a remote control for a light fixture?

  • I am replacing a ceiling fan with a metal hanging light fixture.
  • The problem is that our home was built in 1978 and there is no on off switch plate so the fan operates by the pull chain.
  • Adding a wall switch is not an option.
  • Is it possible to make my new light touch activated?
  • Can I wire in a remote control for my new light.
  • I guess I could wire in a pull chain switch, but I’m not sure how that would look.

What do you think?

This electrical wiring question came from: Wilson, from Greenbrier, Tennessee.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Wilson.

How to Add a Touch Sensor Switch or Remote Control Switch

Application: Wiring a Touch Sensor Switch or Remote Control.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a licensed electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Note: Make sure the remote control unit has the capacity in watts for the lamps that will be installed in the fixture.

Light Fixture Controlled by a Touch Sensor or a Remote Control Switch

The following is an example of how a touch sensor switch or remote control unit may be added to a light fixture and used as a switch.

  • Touch Sensor Switch
    Touch sensor light switches are modules which are available from most hardware for lighting stores.
  • Wiring a Touch Sensor
    The  touch sensor module may be wired to most any light fixture making it very easy for turning on the light by simply touching the light fixture. The touch sensor switch is supplied with two circuit wires and a ground wire which connect to the light fixture wiring.
  • Optional Light Switch Controls
    Another option for controlling a light fixture where a wall switch has not been installed is to install a remote control kit, just like one that is used for ceiling fans.
  • Remote Control Switch
    This is basically the same method used when installing a remote module for a ceiling fan where the parts are the same but the application is slightly different. The remote control module is supplied with leads that connect to the circuit wires, and lead wires that connect to the light fixture.
  • Light Fixture Switch Control Wiring
    The process of wiring a touch switch or remote control module is not very difficult but be sure to read and follow all of the instructions.
  • Mounting Area Requirements
    The base of the light fixture will need to be large enough to contain the remote control module, the wiring and the connectors.
  • Specific Instructions for the Switch and Light Fixture
    IMPORTANT: There is a variety of touch sensor switches and remote control modules that are available for this type of application, therefore be sure to consult the instructions and wiring diagrams that are provided with each unit for detailed instructions, and to be sure the device is fully compatible with the light fixture and your specific application.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Add a Touch Sensor to a Light Fixture”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Edd,
    The Westek Touch Dimmer Model 6553 is a prewired device which includes a module that plugs into a wall outlet, and a touch pad which is wired to the module. The control module has an outlet where the light fixture you wish to control may be plugged in for the connection. There is no need for additional wiring. Place the touch pad in a convenient location and make sure the switch on the light fixture is in the ON position and the touch dimmer is ready to use. Make sure the lamp in the light fixture is dimmable, such as an incandescent bulb, or a dimmable LED replacement lamp.
    Thank you for sharing your light fixture question with us,

  2. Edd Higbee says:

    Wiring a Touch Dimmer for a Light Fixture

    My Westek Touch Dimmer (Model 6553) came with bare wires and a separate wall plug with a top that slides off. I’m not sure how to connect the two so I can plug the unit into the wall. Please advise.


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