Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
    terrysig's Avatar
    terrysig Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 12, 2006, 12:13 PM
    Converting pull switch lights to wall switch
    I've been struggling finding the answer to this in books and online, it seems as if it should be an easy question and something that gets done all the time. Looking for some help.

    My basement has several rooms and all lights are wired "hot" with pull switches from each light receptacle. When the switch goes bad it is very easy to fix/replace but I'd rather all of these lights work from a switch on the wall in each room.

    My thought is to take each light out of the 'hot" circuit and pigtail power for each light out of the box that will be joining the two halfs of the circuit. Take the pigtail into the wall switch and back up to the new light receptacle.

    I would think this happens all the time in older homes?

    Any help is appreciated.
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,659, Reputation: 725
    Uber Member

    Nov 15, 2006, 05:07 PM
    Sorry seems your question got overlooked.

    Not really sure I follow your solution.

    Shut off the power at the circuit breaker/fuse first to the light circuit.

    All that is needed to be done, is to run a 2 wire cable from a switch location up to the light outlet box. Disconnect the hot black to the light, connect to the white of the cable connect the black to the light. Wrap this white in this cable with black tape at both ends. Connect any bare or green ground wires all together, and connect to any metal box and fixture.

    At the switch location cut in an old work box, has "ears" to support the box, to keep it fall into the wall. If plastic box with Romex, they come with ears for inside the wall, tighten them with screws on the outside.

    If a metal box, because you have BX or MC cable, then you also need metal box supports, we call them Madison clips.

    Strip the cable, leave at least six inches of wire coming out of the box, strip the ends, wrap the black and white with black tape around the two terminals, connect the bare ground to the green screw, fold the wires into the box and mount the switch. Install the plate.

    Of course the hard part is getting the cable from the switch location to the light outlet, may need to fish if all finish, may need to use surface mounted WireMold, if unfinished and typical wood framing, just need to drill cable holes through the framing. This all depends on the construction of the rooms.

    Hope this helps.
    terrysig's Avatar
    terrysig Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 20, 2006, 05:49 AM
    Thanks! Well that certainly is easier than what I was thinking!

    But of course there is a slight complexity. There are TWO lights on pull chains in this room on that hot circuit. So I'd like to have them both work off that single switch.

    I see and understand how you describe the one light setup but what about two.

    Big thanks!
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Nov 20, 2006, 06:37 AM
    No problem as long as one light feeds the other. Just do exactly as tk says to the first light. Except connect the black to both lights to the black from the switch. The whites and grounds should already be connected.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions


Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.

Check out some similar questions!

Celing fan pull switch [ 8 Answers ]

I have a stacked switch that will hold 8 wires there were 2 black 1 grey 1green and 1 purple. Some one replaced it and got it wired wrong the fan stayed on low and the switch would not effect it. I took and old single layer switch from another fan touched the black to each wire to find the speeds...

Motion Sensing Wall Switch causes flickering lights [ 4 Answers ]

I just bought a Cooper Motion sensing wall switch. I wired it (correctly?) and I am getting flickering lights when the switch automatically turns itself off. I have good lights in the "on" positions, and when I turn the lights off there is no flicker. However, when the "motion" stops, the light...

Pull switch [ 2 Answers ]

Anyone know how to replace the cord in a pull switch? Thanks

Wall Speed control on old ceiling fan install new with pull switch [ 3 Answers ]

I have an old celing fan purchased in the 80's with a wall mount speed control knob. I purchased a Hampton Bay, Huntinton III 522-306 3 speed control with a pull chain. When installing the unit the fan does not work. I have a white wire, a black wire, a blue wire for the light and a ground...

3 lights ran between 2 3-ways, can one of these lights be controlled by a 3rd switch? [ 2 Answers ]

There are 3 lights connected, 2 in one room and the third at the bottom of the stairs. There is a 3-way at the top of the stairs and another in the room with the 2 lights. This guy would like to also be able to switch off just the 3rd light at the bottom of the stairs. I did not dig into this too...

View more questions Search