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How to Wire an Illuminated Rocker Switch

Updated March 23, 2017

Rocker switches rock back and forth when the switch is turned on or off. They often have a circle marked on one end, to indicate that the switch is on when pressed in that direction. They also have a horizontal line, to indicate the switch is off. Computers and other electronic equipment use this type of switch. Some rocker switches have a built-in light to indicate that the switch is on. No additional wiring is required for the light. The switch has a "hot" wire that is often labelled "line" and a wire that connects to the device being controlled (load).

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  1. Strip the ends of the wires 3/8 inch from the ends and insert one of the wires into a spade lug. Use the crimping tool to secure the lug to the wire. Repeat this for the other wire. These switches typically use a spade lug terminal that attaches to the wire with a crimping tool.

  2. Push the lugs onto the switch. Connect one of the wires to the line side of the switch and the other wire to the load side. The wires are interchangeable.

  3. Push the switch into the opening cut out for it. Look closely at the switch. Some types will push in from the front of the equipment and some from the back.

  4. Plug the equipment into a wall outlet. Turn on the switch. The switch should light up and the equipment should turn on.

  5. Tip

    Rock the spade lug back and forth, until it is fully seated on the terminal.


    Make sure the equipment is not connected to a power source, before you work on the wiring.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire stripper
  • Spade lugs
  • Voltage tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Crimping tool

About the Author

Phil Altshuler has written award-winning ad copy and sales-training literature since 1965. He is an expert in conventional and sub-prime loans, bankruptcy, mortgage loan modifications and credit. Altshuler was a licensed mortgage broker in California and Arizona, as well as a licensed electrical contractor. He has a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering from California Polytechnic State University.

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