How to Install a Pull Switch

In some areas of the home a pull switch light is convenient. There are some lights that have a switch which is not located close to where the light is. There may be a light at the top of a staircase and the switch may be at the bottom of the staircase. Installing a pull switch light is inexpensive and only takes about 20 minutes even for a novice.

Locate and turn off the circuit breaker which supplies electricity to the light being replaced.

Remove any shade or outer part of the fixture so the base is exposed and unscrew the screws which hold the base to the ceiling.

Disconnect the wires attached to the old light base. The wires will most likely be attached around screws on the base. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws and remove the wires.

Connect the wires to the new base by wrapping the black wire around the gold or brass screw. Wrap the white wire around the silver screw. The remaining wire, if there is one, is the ground. Wrap the ground wire around the third screw, usually greenish in colour.

Screw the new base into the ceiling using the holes where the old one was screwed. If the old one did not screw into holes in the ceiling or the holes do not line up then new holes and anchors will have to be installed.

Mark the ceiling where the holes for the new base are by holding the base up to the ceiling and making a mark with a pencil.

Drill holes where the marks are with an electric drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit.

Install 1/4 inch anchors into the holes by pressing them into the holes until they are flush with the ceiling. Attach the light base to the ceiling using the screws that came with the base driven through the holes in the light base and into the anchors. Turn on the circuit breaker.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket base with pull switch
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • 1/4 inch anchors
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Damon Koch has years of writing experience ranging from software manuals to song lyrics. His writing has appeared in software manuals for Human Arc and on the CDs "Small Craft Advisory" and "Impersonating Jesus." He also has worked in building maintenance since 2004. He has attended Lorain County Community College as well as Cleveland State University.