Electrical work requires the special knowledge, skills, and safety precautions of a trained individual. 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, with most people paying 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 Prices|
|National average cost||$150|
|Average range||$100 - $200|
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. Some toggle switches simply flip up and down. However, smart switches can be controlled directly from your phone. The average cost for a light switch is between $2 and $40. The table below lists the different switches available and their cost per unit, not including installation fees.
|Type||Cost per Unit (Material Only)|
Toggle switches are a type of electrical switch that is turned on and off using a lever. The lever or handle can be flipped up or down to control the flow of electrical current to turn on the light. They are the most popular type of switch among the rest. The average price for it is between $2 and $12.
Dimmer switches, also known as “dimmer controls” or “selector light switches,” allow you to control the different light illumination levels in a room. The circuit allows you to dim or brighten the lights using the dimmer switch. Having a dimmer option helps the light bulb last longer, meaning they do not have to be replaced as often. Dimmer switches can save you money on utility costs. Their average price is between $10 and $25.
Smart switches use programmable and Wi-Fi options that allow you to turn your lights on and off using a smartphone app. These switches are hardwired with your existing home lighting and are usually controlled using a switch or button. Some smart switches give you the option of dimming your lights, which reduces your energy usage when lowering the brightness. The average cost is between $20 and $40.
Toggle switches are a type of electrical switch that allows you to control the flow of electrical currents by flipping a switch to an up or down position. They come in single pole, double pole, three-way, and four-way options. These simple switches are the most popular type on the market and are commonly seen in homes. The average price for a toggle switch ranges between $2 and $12. The table below lists the different toggle switches available and their cost per unit, not including installation fees.
|Type of Toggle Switch||Cost per Unit (Only Materials)|
Single-pole switches are very simple, common light switches. These units control one circuit and one light from a single location with two terminals. Most single-pole systems in a home tend to be single pole light switches. This type of toggle light system is the least expensive and ranges in price between $2 and $5.
A four-way switch is very similar to a three-way type, except with four terminals instead of three. This type of unit has to be combined with two three-way switches to form a full circuit. Four-way light systems are the least common type, and if present, they would be found in larger rooms with multiple switches and entry points. The average cost for a four-way light switch ranges between $5 and $7.
A double-pole switch is very similar to a single-pole switch but has four terminals instead of two. These toggle switches can control larger voltages, such as 240 volts. Double-pole switches are commonly found in factories. You can expect to pay between $7 and $9 for a double-pole switch.
A three-way switch allows you to control a single circuit from two separate locations. These switches are commonly located at the top and bottom of a stairway or next to doors in a room with two entry points. A three-way switch allows you to use two light switches to turn three terminals on or off. These switches average in cost between $9 and $11.
A rocker switch is an alternative toggle switch that features a broad lever and can be activated using a “rocking” motion. These switches are considered decorative as they lay flat against a wall. Rocker switches are often seen as the main power supply on electronic devices as an on and off switch. These switches are single-pole with three-way options and range in price between $10 and $12.
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. The average price for a dimmer switch ranges between $10 and $25. The table below lists the different dimmer switches available and their cost per unit, not including installation fees.
|Type of dimmer switch||Cost per unit (material only)|
|Rotary dimmer switch||$10-$12|
|Slide dimmer switch||$12-$18|
|Light dimmer switch||$15-$25|
Rotary dimmers are switches containing a knob/dial used to control the brightness of a light fixture. Rotating the knob/dial adjusts the light from a very dim, average glow level to the bulb’s full level of brightness. The knob/dial rotates from left to right, and most have a push on/off function. Rotary dimmer switches are the most common dimmer and average in price from $10 and $12.
Slide dimmer switches are similar to rotary dimmer switches but differ in the way they are controlled. Instead of rotating a knob or dial, a slide dimmer slides up and down or side to side to change the brightness of the lights. This dimmer may or may not have an on/off toggle button. The average price for a slide dimmer is $12 to $18.
Light dimmer switches look very similar to a single-pole toggle switch. The main difference with a light dimmer switch is that it features a smaller, less prominent slider next to the toggle switch. Light dimmer switches are the best option for setting the brightness and leaving it. You can expect to pay between $15 and $25 for a light dimmer switch.
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. These switches are controlled using a switch or a button. Some smart switches give you the option of dimming your lights, which can reduce your energy usage. The average price for a smart switch ranges between $20 and $40. The table below lists the different smart switches available and their cost per unit, not including installation fees.
|Type of Smart Switch||Cost per Unit (Material Only)|
|Smart multi-control switch||$30|
|Touch control switch||$40|
They are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home and interact with both very smoothly. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, turn on bedroom light” or “Google turn off hallway light.” These units are controlled remotely through Wi-Fi from a smartphone and support light bulbs from porch lights and security lights to indoor lights and household lamps. Alexa switches allow you to set special scene lighting for different tasks such as reading, homework, watching TV, and more. These lights often come with a 12-month warranty with support assistance. The average price for an Alexa light switch is $20.
A smart dimmer switch works wirelessly to control, adjust, and schedule brightness and on/off controls. These types of smart switches allow you to control the brightness of your lights from your phone when not home. Some smart dimmer switches are Amazon Alexa Compatible with Alexa hub. The cost of a smart dimmer switch is $30.
A smart multi-control switch allows you to control multiple lights simultaneously on different switches. These switches are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for easy voice control, as well as the phone app, “Smart Life,” for easy control wherever you are. These multi-control switches offer a timing function to help you plan the exact time you want your lights/fans to turn on and off automatically. These switches are commonly used for lights, ceiling fixtures, and other plugged-in devices. They cost around $30 each.
Touch control light switches turn on and off the lights by touching. These are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant that allows you to turn the lights on and off with your voice. These light units can also be controlled remotely from a smartphone. To make it easy to see in the dark, the controls on the panel light up. Touch control light switches cost around $40 each.
The installation process is relatively simple and quick if rewiring is not required. The process begins with shutting off the current to the room or location where the unit will be installed. An electrician removes the cover plate and tests the wires to make sure they are not live. Once the professional confirms the wires are dead, they unscrew the old switch, loosen the screws, pull it from the box nestled on the wall, and unhook the wires. 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.
Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not perform this kind of 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.
The average cost for an electrician to complete the basic electrical task of installing a light switch is $40 to $50 per hour. If wire replacement is unnecessary, the entire process is very quick and takes approximately 45 minutes to install one switch. The labor involved accounts for approximately $125 of the project’s final cost. The switch only costs $2 to $40.
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. The cost to install a dimmer switch is $75 to $100, with $10 to $25 of the final cost for the dimmer switch itself.
When installing a light switch, you’ll need to consider all the associated costs. Besides needing a wall plate, you may also need some other things such as hardware, wiring, and upgrades to the switch itself. If one doesn’t already exist, then a switch box, screws, and wall plate will be required for the installation. The type of switch affects the cost of installation. There are simple toggle switches you flip up and down, and then there are smart switches you can program and run from your phone via Wi-Fi.
If you have old wiring or an electrical panel with less than the required voltage, then you’ll need to update the electric panel to cover the additional voltage. This update can be quite pricey and add to the total cost. If you are relocating a switch, an electrician will run wiring to the new location, close the hole at the old location, and create a new hole. This work adds additional expenses to the project.
If your light switch needs rewiring, you will have to pay additional fees at a price per linear foot of wire. An electrician might charge a higher hourly rate if wires are less accessible or hidden behind walls.
You can take some steps to prepare for the installation before the electrician arrives. First, if you are replacing an old light unit with a new one, it is important to make sure the new unit’s voltage matches the old one. It is essential to turn off the power to the light from your breaker panel. No power can be running to the outlet when the electrician installs the new one. Know what switch you want to use to install or replace your old one. Lastly, before installing, the electrician should be aware of the type of wiring. Some houses may not have electrical wiring that is up to code, and therefore the wires may need to be added or replaced.
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. You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for a replacement.
|Type||Cost of replacement (installation included)|
Replacing a simple toggle switch is an easy process that takes a professional less than 30 minutes to complete. A toggle switch replacement involves turning the power off at the main circuit and unscrewing to remove the switch plate. The switch from the electrical box is then unscrewed and pulled out with the wires left attached. Your new toggle switch will be matched with the same-colored screw from the old switch, and one wire will be connected at a time. Once completed, the new wired switch is put back into the electrical box, screwed in, and then the power is turned back on. The cost for a toggle switch replacement ranges in price between $50 and $75.
Replacing a dimmer switch is very similar to the process of replacing a toggle switch. Dimmer switch replacement differs in the fact that dimmer switches are connected by wiring instead of screw terminals. Due to the extra step of wire connection, this process can take a little bit more time. The cost for a dimmer switch replacement ranges in price between $75 and $100.
The replacement process for a smart light switch can be quite tricky and should be done by a trained electrical professional. The process is the same as a toggle unit replacement but becomes more complicated when securing the new smart switch wires to the old wires. The two wires or cables are connected using a wire nut that binds the wires together securely. The cost of a replacement is a little more expensive and averages $85 to $150.
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. 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 in price between $9 and $11.
Relocating is a fairly easy task for an electrician. New wiring will have to 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. With wires and labor for one switch, this costs, on average, $255.
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. The average cost for an electrical circuit panel upgrade is $1,500 to $4,000.
An electrician can make the process of rewiring easy. The rewiring process involves loosening the screws holding the electrical wires and disconnecting the wires from the switch itself. New wires are then installed on the switch and rewired until you have a working unit. You can expect to pay $6 to $8 per linear foot of wire.
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 switch and outlet panels are best installed in kitchens. The average price for one of these is $15.
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. They can be installed inside and outside. The average cost of a photoelectric switch is $10.
You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for an electrician to fix a light switch.
Hiring a knowledgeable electrician to perform these tasks is recommended.
Yes, you can put a dimmer on a three-way switch. With a three-way dimmer, you can control a light with two switches.
The ideal light switch height is 48 inches from the floor.
Yes, a faulty light switch can cause a fire. If the circuit in the switch is hot, it can cause resistance leading to heat that results in a fire.
The entire process of installing one, without replacing wires, is very quick and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
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.