How much does it cost to install a light switch?
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Light Switch Installation Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Electrical work like light switch installation requires the special knowledge, skills, and safety precautions of a trained individual. If you have a broken light switch that needs replacing or are building new construction, you may need light switch installation in one or more places in the home. Unless you are highly experienced in installing light switches, you should hire a professional electrician to complete the work effectively. The risk of electrical shock and fire exists if the work is completed incorrectly.
The national average cost for installing a light switch is between $100 and $200. Most people pay around $150 to install a three-way toggle light switch without rewiring. At the low end of the spectrum, you pay around $75 for a single-pole toggle switch with one circuit and no rewiring. At the high end, you pay up to $275 to install a touch-control smart switch with Wi-Fi, programmable features, and new wiring.
Light Switch Price
|Light Switch Installation Cost
|National average cost
Light Switch Cost by Type
The average cost for a light switch is between $2 and $45. The cost differs based on the type of switch. While selecting a switch might sound simple, many different types are available for consideration based on your needs. If you are looking for basic functions, toggle switches are effective and usually the cheapest. Dimmer switches are nice to create ambiance and add a little to the cost of a toggle switch for the added feature. Finally, there are smart switches at the high end of the price range that are ideal for those who want total control over their lighting.
Toggle switches are the typical light switches that you see in use. They are usually installed vertically and flipped up for on and down for off. However, some are installed horizontally and turn off and on based on how they are wired (left to right vs right to left, etc.). Some people invest in dimmer switches that control the light power and give you the option to increase or decrease the brightness in addition to just having it on or off. Smart switches are a new choice for homeowners. These switches include Wi-Fi connections, programmable features, and eco-friendly features for those who want the ultimate control of the lights in their home. The table below shows the average costs of each.
|Cost per Unit (Material Only)
|$2 - $12
|$10 - $25
|$25 - $45
Toggle Switch Price by Type
You will spend $2 to $12 on toggle switches, depending on the exact model and style. These switches offer basic up/down and on/off functionality, but they have single and double pole options along with three- and four-way switches. They can control lights, outlets, and more. In the table below, you will see a breakdown of each type of toggle switch and the cost of a single switch, not including installation.
|Toggle Switch Type
|Cost (Unit Only)
|$2 - $5
|$5 - $7
|$7 - $9
|$9 - $11
|$10 - $12
This is the simplest option for a light switch and costs $2 to $5 per switch. These switches are responsible for controlling a single light or circuit from one location. Most homes have single-pole switches installed. Because of their commonality and ease of installation, they are relatively affordable and effortless to replace. This type of toggle is the most basic, but that does not make it less desirable.
Four-Way Light Switch
You will spend between $5 and $7 on a four-way light switch. These are similar to the three-way models below but have an extra terminal. These units must also be combined with three-way switches (two of them) to complete the circuit. These are not as common because single switches are far more effective. However, they may be found in larger rooms with more than one entry point or a need for additional switch options.
Double-pole switches cost $7 to $9 each. These are similar to single-pole toggle switches, but instead of the two terminals, there are now four. These are ideal for 240-volt connections because they can handle more electricity. Typically, these are only found in commercial settings like factories. However, if there is a residential situation where more voltage is required, or the switches make sense, they could be worth considering. Talk to your installer.
A three-way switch runs from $9 to $11 per switch. This switch offers the convenience of controlling one light or circuit from two different places in the room. You will often see these installed at the top and bottom of stairways, next to doorways in rooms with multiple entry points, and so forth. It is more common than the four-way switch for residential use but is still less common than the others discussed here.
You’ll spend $10 to $12 on a rocker switch, a single-pole switch with a three-way option. The rocker is a broad lever that can be turned on and off by “rocking” the switch toggle instead of flipping it up and down. Many people like these switches in spaces where design is premium because they lay flat against the wall and blend well. These switches are often used for lights, ceiling fans, and other electrical devices.
Dimmer Switch Cost by Type
The average price for a dimmer switch ranges between $10 and $25. Dimmer switches, also referred to as “selector light switches” or “dimmer controls,” allow you to change the brightness or dimness in a room by increasing or decreasing the bulb’s voltage. These switches are increasing in popularity and offer many advantages. They increase the longevity of the light bulb and save money on utility costs. There are three different dimmer switches, including rotary dimmer switches, slide dimmer switches, and light dimmer switches.
Most people are familiar with the rotary dimmer switch, which is essentially a knob that has an “off” position and a high position, allowing you to dim the lights to your preferred setting with ease. Today, slide switches are also designed to help with dimming, offering something a little more sleek and modern. You can also find a combination light switch/dimmer switch that offers both options of a switch and a dimmer in one unit, but these are typically more expensive. In the table below, you will see the common dimmer switches and their costs.
|Dimmer Switch Type
|Cost (Unit Only)
|$10 - $12
|$12 - $18
|$15 - $25
Smart Switch Cost by Type
The average price for a smart switch ranges between $25 and $45. Smart switches feature programmable options and Wi-Fi options that allow you to control the lighting in an entire house with one button, whether you are at work, on vacation, or at home. The table below lists the different smart switches available and their cost per unit, not including installation fees.
Smart switches come in several styles, including a dimmer switch that allows you to set the perfect lighting, even from your phone. You can also install multi-control smart switches that allow you to control multiple lights with a single device. You can even time them so your lights go on and off at the right time. Then, touch-control switches go on with just a touch or can be controlled remotely. Each has its pros and cons. Most will be compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and other smart home systems.
|Smart Switch Type
|Cost (Unit Only)
|$25 - $35
|$25 - $45
|$35 - $45
Cost for an Electrician to Install a Light Switch
The average cost for an electrician to complete the basic electrical task of installing a light switch is $40 to $120 per hour, with labor making up as much as $120 of the average project costs. Switches only cost $2 to $40, depending on their type and features. If wire replacement is unnecessary, the entire process is very quick and takes approximately 45 minutes to install one switch. Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not perform this installation yourself. This type of installation can be very dangerous because you are dealing with electrical components, so it is usually best to hire an electrician.
You can help the electrician get right to work by cutting power from the breaker panel, knowing what switches you are replacing and what units you want to use to make the replacement, and providing information about your wiring. Then, the process involves the electrician removing the old switch if one is present, then using a screwdriver to attach the wires to the new switch and install it in the wall. The cover switch is secured, and the job is done. If any damaged wires are present, the electrician replaces the exposed wire, wraps it around the new terminal screws on the new switch, pushes it back into the box, and replaces the plate cover. The power can then be turned back on and tested using a voltage tester to make sure it works.
Several cost factors impact what you pay to have a light switch replaced or installed. For starters, you may need new wall plates, hardware, wiring, and other elements to complete the job, which will all add to the cost of the project. If there is not already a switch box, you will need to have that installed first and then place the switch. Older wiring or an outdated breaker box could require additional attention. If you are relocating or rewiring a switch, you will have to pay for that work.
Install a Dimmer Switch
The cost to install a dimmer switch is $75 to $100, with $10 to $25 of the final cost for the dimmer switch itself. The process of installing a dimmer switch is very similar to the process of installing a simple toggle switch. The difference is the extra step of wire connection that can take a little bit more time and knowledge to complete. Dimmer switches are connected to the house by wiring rather than by screw terminals.
Cost to Relocate a Light Switch
Wires and labor for one switch cost $240 to $300. Relocating a light switch is a fairly easy task for an electrician. New wiring must be run to the new location when relocating a light switch. The hole at the old location will also have to be closed up, and a new hole will need to be created. There is more involved in the labor of this process, but the installation of the switch remains the same. It is just a few extra steps to move the unit to the new location.
Rewiring a Light Switch
You can expect to pay $6 to $8 per linear foot of wire to rewire your switches. An electrician can make the process of rewiring easy. The rewiring process involves loosening the screws holding the electrical wires and disconnecting them from the switch itself. New wires are installed on the switch and rewired until you have a working unit. If switches or wiring are old, frayed, or otherwise damaged, you may need to invest in new wiring as part of the installation process. This will typically be included in your total project estimate, but be sure to ask.
Cost to Replace a Light Switch by Type
You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for a replacement. If you have a light switch that is giving you problems or no longer working, then it needs to be replaced. The cost of replacement will depend on the type of light switch. Switches with extra features like dimmers or smart characteristics will cost a little more than a standard light unit. Replacing a simple toggle switch is the easiest and most affordable. You might spend more replacing a dimmer switch or smart switch because of the more complex nature of the installation. In the table below, you can see an estimate of each switch and what replacement costs would be.
|Light Switch Type
|Replacement Cost (Installed)
|$50 - $75
|$75 - $100
|$85 - $150
2-Way vs 3-Way Switch
You can expect to pay between $7 and $9 for a 2-way switch, while a 3-way switch costs a little bit more and averages between $9 and $11. The difference between a two-way and a three-way switch is a two-way switch turns the lights on and off from one location only, while a three-way switch can turn lights on and off from two locations. Two-way units have an on and off button while three-way do not because there is no consistent on or off position. The on and off changes depending on the position of the second switch. Two-way units are commonly found in many locations in homes. Three-way units are commonly installed in long hallways or at the end of the stairway so that the lights can be turned on or off when approaching or at the end of the hallway.
|Light Switch Type
|Cost (Unit Only)
|$7 - $9
|$9 - $11
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Combination Switch and Outlet
The average price for one of these is $7 to $30. A combination switch and outlet is a panel that consists of one of each. The outlet can be a standard plug or, if more advanced, a USB charging port. Combination switches and outlet panels are best installed in kitchens, but they can work well in other spaces. Today, more people are choosing combination outlets with USB ports to ensure they can charge their electronics anywhere in the home.
Update Electrical Panel
The average cost for an electrical circuit panel upgrade is $1,500 to $4,000. An update to the electrical panel is required if you have old wiring or an electrical panel with less than the required voltage. While some panels have space for additional voltage, others need a new circuit and breaker added. If your light switch installation impacts the effectiveness of your electrical panel, you may have to pay for this upgrade before you can finish the installation.
They can be installed inside and outside. The average cost of a photoelectric switch is $10 to $12. Photoelectric switches contain a sensor that automatically turns the lights on and off at sunrise and sunset. The sensor detects objects by emitting a light beam (visible or infrared) from its element. These switches are great if you don’t want to set a specific on and off time. However, they are not as common in residential construction because most people still use standard switches.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. A permit is not required to install a switch; however, some municipalities require you to get a new permit to install new electrical circuits. Consult your state or city before performing any electrical work to see what is required from you. Licensed electricians in the area will know whether a permit is required in your area or not.
- DIY. If you are inexperienced, then it is recommended that changing a light switch is not a DIY project. If you must do it yourself, then it is extremely important to shut the breaker off and use a voltage check to verify that the power is off before you proceed. Wearing a grounding bracelet and rubber-soled shoes and using tools with rubber grips are recommended for safety purposes. Contractors and electricians often mark the price of materials up by 15%. Therefore, you can save some money by purchasing the materials yourself.
- Unused light switches. If a light switch is unused, then there is a possibility that it could be dangerous due to old, torn wiring. Make sure the wires running to the switch are inactive using a voltage checker.
- Electrical panel transfer switch. If you have a standby generator, then a transfer switch is needed on your electrical panel. A transfer switch is installed on the electrical panel and transfers the circuit from one load to the other by flipping the transfer switch to the generator. This keeps the power on during a power outage. One transfer switch in your home is sufficient and averages around $250 for a residential switch. Labor to install this switch is between $200 and $400.
- Grounding. The current code requires any new light switch installations to be grounded, but older switches don’t need updates if you are only replacing the switch and not the wiring. Not all light units require a grounding, but having one grounded in each room is beneficial as it prevents the circuit from overloading the entire house.
- How much does it cost to fix a light switch?
You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for an electrician to fix it.
- Do I need an electrician to replace a light switch?
Hiring a knowledgeable electrician to perform these tasks is recommended.
- Can you put a dimmer on a three-way switch?
Yes, you can put a dimmer on a three-way switch. With a three-way dimmer, you can control a light with two switches.
- How high should a light switch be off the floor?
The ideal height is 48 inches from the floor.
- Can a faulty light switch cause a fire?
Yes, it can cause a fire. If the circuit in the switch is hot, it can cause resistance leading to heat that results in a fire.
- How long does it take to install a light switch?
The entire process of installing one, without replacing wires, is very quick and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
- What is the difference between a switch and a light switch?
A switch is a device that makes or breaks the connection in an electrical circuit. A light switch is a switch that turns on and off the electrical circuit for a light.