How to Wire a Light Switch with Only 2 Wires


Wiring a light switch with only 2 wires may seem daunting, but it's actually quite straightforward once you understand the basics. With some careful planning and the right materials, I can successfully install a light switch on a 2-wire circuit.

The key to wiring a light switch with 2 wires is using the power feed method. This involves bringing the power source directly to the light switch, then connecting the light fixture to the switch. It allows you to control a light with the standard 2 wires that are found in most switch boxes.

In this guide, I will walk through the complete process of wiring a single-pole light switch on a 2-wire circuit. I will cover:

Follow along carefully and you’ll have a functioning light switch wired up in no time!

Materials and Tools Needed

To wire a single-pole light switch with 2 wires, you’ll need the following materials:

It’s also a good idea to turn off the circuit breaker for the room you’ll be working in before handling any wiring. Make sure all power is disconnected throughout the entire process.

You should only need basic hand tools like wire strippers, a screwdriver, and a multi-meter. Having a helper makes the job much easier too.

Identifying the Power Source

The first step is to determine which of the 2 wires in the switch box is the power source. This brings electricity from the breaker panel to the switch.

To identify the power source wire:

Once you’ve determined the power feed wire, you can move onto connecting the new switch. Pay close attention to identify the power source correctly.

How to Connect a Light Switch with 2 Wires

Follow these steps to wire a single-pole light switch with only 2 wires available:

1. Turn Off Power and Remove Old Switch

2. Prepare Wires in the Box

3. Connect Power Source Wire

4. Connect Second Wire

5. Ground the Switch

6. Secure Wires in Box

7. Mount the Switch

8. Test Switch Operation

Once all connections are made securely, turn the power back on and test the light switch. The light fixture it controls should turn on and off with the switch.

Tip: If the light is not responding, double check wiring connections and verify the power source is correct.

Safety Tips

When dealing with electrical wiring, safety should always be the top priority. Here are some important safety tips when wiring a light switch:

Take it slow and be cautious when handling electrical components. Shock hazards are a real risk. Following basic safety measures will ensure you don't get hurt.


While it may seem intimidating, installing a light switch on a 2-wire circuit is totally doable with good planning. The key steps are identifying the power source wire, connecting wires to the correct switch terminals, grounding the system properly, and confirming functionality after completion.

Follow the procedures and safety tips outlined above and you’ll have a working light switch wired on 2 wires in no time. Just take it slow and be extremely careful when handling wiring. With the right materials and safe work practices, the 2-wire light switch install can be accomplished by a competent DIYer.