How to Wire a Switch for a New Light Fixture
Ted in Arizona asks; How Can I Upgrade from One Switch for One Light to Two Switches for Two Lights? Adding a Light Switch and Fixture, The Wiring at the Existing Switch Box, Wiring for a New Under Cabinet Light Fixture.
Adding a Light Switch and Light Fixture
Electrical Question: How Can I Upgrade from One Switch for One Light to Two Switches for Two Lights?
My electrical wiring project involves Upgrade the Wiring a Switch in the Kitchen of a Modular Home.
- I bought an older manufactured home. I am replacing a light switch for the light over the sink with one of those double tandem switches, which has two switches in one outlet. I would like to have one switch for the light over the sink, and the other switch to be used for a light under the cabinet to light the countertop. The problem is that there are only two wires that are connected the old light switch, that is all the wires that are in the box. I have tried different combinations of wiring and connections with no luck. Any help that you can give me would be great. Have a good and safe week. Ted.
This electrical wiring question came from Ted, a Handyman in Mesa, Arizona.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ted.
How to Upgrade to Two Switches In a Single Switch Box
Application: Wiring a Switch for a Under Cabinet Light.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Switch, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Switch should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Mesa, Arizona. A permit and inspections may also be required.
Resources to help you do electrical wiring in your area:
Locate Electricians or Electrical Contractors in Arizona
Arizona Electrical Contractor License, Building Permits and Electrical Codes
Adding a Light Switch for a New Light Fixture
This electrical wiring project is about adding a light switch for a new under cabinet light to the wiring of an existing light switch.
The Wiring at the Existing Switch Box
From what you have described, the switch box that you wish to connect to does not have a neutral wire. The two wires in the switch box is basically a loop of the power wire for the existing light fixture, which brings the circuit power wire to the switch and then returns the power from the switch to the light fixture when the switch is turned on.
Wiring for a New Under Cabinet Light Fixture
For this project, a separate power source must be provided for the new under cabinet lights where the circuit wires include: the power wire, the neutral wire, and the ground wire. A loop of the power wire for the under cabinet light fixture could then be added to a tandem light switch, or a separate light switch.
More about Electrical Wiring and Switches
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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