Installing Light Switches

Get Started Installing Light Switches

Installing light switches might seem like a daunting task for somebody who has never done any electrical work before, but it's not really that hard. I would recommend looking for some "replace light switch" YouTube videos to give you a feel for what will be involved. This page has some useful resources for replacing light switches.

If you have Lutron switchers/dimmers, they have great videos to show exactly how to install their lights:

Some tools/supplies I would recommend getting to make the job easier:

  • Philips and standard head screwdrivers

  • Non-Contact Voltage Detector

  • Wire Stripper

  • Wire Nuts (You can get a couple different sizes at your hardware store to cover your needs, but this link is for a GREAT wire nut that fits multiple combinations of wires and sizes - my favorite!)

  • Electrical tape

Multi Gang Light Switches

The first thing to understand is that all light switches are sold as individual switches. So if you have a panel with 2 (or more) light switches, behind that wall plate are two (or more) individual switches. These are called "gangs". A 1-gang light switch has one light switch, and a 3-gang light switch has three light switches.

So if you need to replace a panel that has three light switches in it, you would buy three smart switches (or smart dimmers).

Also keep in mind that you don't have to replace all of the switches. You can mix and match smart and dumb light switches in the same electrical box.

3-Way and 4-Way Switches

A 3-Way light switch is when you have two light switches in different locations that control the same light fixture, for example at the top and bottom of a stair case, or from two different doorways into the same room. Although less common, you can also have 4-way switches, which allow you to control a single light fixture from three different light switches. (I know, it's weird two switches is called a 3-way, and three switches is called a 4-way). It is possible to have 5-way switches as well, the same concept applies.

Different smart light manufacturers handle 3/4/x-way switching differently. They typically involve replacing the switches and then paring them together, and often times require different switch types in the different locations. Luton Caseta uses their Pico Remote with wall mounting kit for the additional locations.