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Adding a Touch Sensor to a Light Fixture

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Install a Touch Sensor Light Switch or a Remote Control Switch: Wiring a Touch Sensor: Light Fixture Switch Control Wiring.

Switch Options for Light Fixtures

Electrical Question: 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 no an option.
  • Is it a possibility 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 but 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 Install a Touch Sensor Light Switch or a Remote Control Switch

Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate.
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.
Materials Make sure the remote control unit has the capacity for the lamps that will be installed in the fixture.

  • 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.
  • 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 different.
  • 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.

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