How to Install a Remote Light Switch

A remote light switch.
  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Wireless light remote
Wireless receiver
Plastic electrical connectors
Wire cutter/stripper

A remote light switch can add to the convenience of your home. You won’t have to jump up to turn a light on or off. For hard to reach switches, this is a good solution. There are many options available when you shop for a remote light switch. Some switches come with a dimmer. Other devices can control more than one device from the same remote.

Step 1 - Turn the Power Off

Turn off the breaker that powers the circuits that you will be working on. You can test this by turning the light and flipping the breakers until the light goes off. If you are still uncertain which breaker it is, then flip the main breaker to the off position. If you take this option, then do the installation on a bright day or with a flashlight.

Step 2 - Wire in the Switch

Unscrew the light switch plate screws. Take the plate off and set it aside with the screws. Remove the old switch by disconnecting the wires. Now, wire the remote switch to the wires coming from the wall.

Step 3 - Mount the Receiver

The receiver is activated by the remote turning the light off and on. Take down the globe from the light fixture. Unscrew the fasteners holding the light fixture into the ceiling. Pull out the fixture. Follow the diagram from the remote device you purchase to wire the receiver to the light fixture. This is a matter of matching up colored wires.

Step 4 - Program the Remote

You can now turn the breaker back on. Now, turn on the remote. Program the remote. Usually, you push and hold down the LRN button until you see that it is flashing. You should consult the instructions that came with the remote to program your particular remote if you have any questions.

Step 5 - Test the Remote

Test the remote by turning the light off and on a few times and experiment with the dimmer (if there is one). You want to be sure it is working properly.

If you want to turn a lamp on and off remotely, you can now get a simple device for that. A remote control light switch for your lamp sits between you and your lamp. You don’t have to do any wiring or use tools, and it controls lamps up to 60 feet away. Some of these even have a dimmer built in. The device is a small box that plugs into the wall and then your lamp plugs into the box. The switch is about the size of a deck of cards and is wireless so it can go anywhere. This is an inexpensive device and takes just a couple of minutes to set up.

Once you have a remote device for your light and a remote for your television, DVR, and stereo, you can truly relax and control your world from the couch.