How to wire a rocker light switch

Updated February 21, 2017

Rocker switches are commonly used in low-voltage direct current (DC) applications. They are small, come in a variety of styles, and are easy to install in applications like car stereos. Wiring a rocker switch involves only a few minutes of work and is easy to do with some basic tools.

Identify your power source and electrical device. This can be as simple as a battery (power source) and light (electrical device). In fact, rocker switches are often used to control lights. Add-on driving lights for a car are an excellent example of an application of this type.

Attach the negative wiring to your electrical device. In the case of a driving light, there will be two terminals on the light, one marked "+" (positive) and the other "-" (negative). Strip the end of a wire and attach it to the negative terminal of the light. Run the wire to the negative terminal of your power source (the battery), strip the end and attach it.

Attach the positive wiring to your electrical device. Attach a wire to the positive terminal of your light, then run it to the rocker switch. Strip the end of the wire and attach it to one of the end terminals. Depending on the design of the rocker switch, you may need to solder the wire to the terminal. Now run a wire from the centre terminal of the rocker switch to the battery. Your rocker will be set up for a simple "on/off" function.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire
  • Wire strippers/cutters
  • Solder
  • Soldering iron
  • Electrical tap
  • Power source
  • Electrical device
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About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.