How to wire a ceiling pull switch

Written by jeremy holt
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How to wire a ceiling pull switch
A ceiling light pull switch sidesteps the need for a wall switch. (Lamp image by Ivan Zhupanov from

Ceiling pull switches are a convenient way of operating an individual light fixture without the need to wire a separate switch in the wall. The wires leading to the pull switch are always live, with the pull cord acting as the switch. You can turn the light on or off without interrupting the electrical feed to the outlets, lights or other devices on the same circuit. Installing a ceiling pull switch is a fairly straightforward task you can complete on your own.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wire strippers
  • Wire splice connectors
  • Slotted screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn the switch that controls the room you're working in to "Off" in the breaker box.

  2. 2

    With wire strippers, remove 1.6 cm (5/8 inch) of insulation from the end of the black and white wires in the junction box you're using for the pull switch. Match the white wire from the junction box to the white wire on the pull switch. Hold the bare ends together, then twist them together with a wire splice connector. Match the black wires and repeat the procedure.

    How to wire a ceiling pull switch
    Wire splice connectors are also known as wire nuts. (wire nuts image by Paul Moore from
  3. 3

    Attach the ground wire to the green screw in the pull switch; tighten the screw with a slotted screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Mount the pull switch onto the junction box and secure the mounting screws with a slotted screwdriver. Screw a light bulb into the new fixture.

  5. 5

    Turn the power on in the breaker box, then pull the cord to test the pull switch.

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