I learned how to change a light switch last week and I cannot believe what a difference it makes to have simple white light switches. Sometimes updating a space is as easy as swapping electrical plate covers!
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHANGE A Light Switch
Proximity Tester (can do without, but strongly recommended)
Light switch (new)
BEFORE YOU BEING TO CHANGE A Light Switch:
Turn off power to the light switch by locating the correct breaker in your electrical box.
Step 1: Take faceplate off lightswitch
To remove faceplate you will need a simple flathead screwdriver. I was extra excited to remove this faceplate as it was a little too decorative for my taste.
Step 2: Test with proximity tester
Test the light switch to make sure there is no power coming in. Do this by resting the proximity tester on the side where wires attach.
Step 3: Remove screws holding the light switch in place
Remove the light switch by unscrewing the screws located at the top and bottom of switch tabs with a screwdriver. You may even need to use a knife as sometimes paint can hold them in place to the wall.
Step 4: Pull the light switch out of box
Pull the light switch away from the box to expose the wire connections.
Step 5: Remove the wire from the side of the light switch
Remove the wires on the sides of the light switch by unscrewing the screws.
*If you are working with a multiple switch box do one at a time to help remember where all the wires go.
Step 6: Install New Light Switch
Install a new switch, placing wire back into the same position. Make sure to curve wire around the screw so that when tightening the screw the wire does not come loose.
* Steps for connecting wires
For the left side: Bring wire to the top of the screw and wrap in a clockwise motion to the bottom of the screw.
For the right side: Bring wire to the bottom of the screw and wrap in a clockwise motion around to the top of the screw.
Step 7: Tape around light switch covering screws and wires
Using electrical tape, wrap the tape around the switch to cover screws and wire.
Step 8: Put light switch and plate cover back together
Shove all wire back into the box, screw the light switch back in place, and add the new plate cover.
The difference changing a light switch can make
I am so happy with this little change. I am someone who pays attention to detail, especially in my own home, where I spend 99% of my time raising little people. So having decorative plate covers, and off white plate covers was a big distraction I was happy to invest the few dollars into making them disappear!