Light Switch Installation Cost and Price

Looking to brighten up your home with new light switches? Typically, the cost to install a light switch ranges around $150. The lower end of this average is $60, while the higher end is $300. The disparity in cost is largely dependent on the type of switch: standard, double, dimmer, or timer. In this article, we will thoroughly discuss light switch installation cost and common factors that influence the price.

Light Switch Installation Cost: New Installation

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - New Installation

How much does it cost to install a new light switch?

Installing a new light switch typically costs between $100 and $300, which includes labor and materials. The total cost varies depending on the type of switch and the accessibility of the wiring. If the installation requires running wire through enclosed walls, the cost will be higher compared to installation during new construction or in an unfinished basement.

Light Switch Installation Cost: Replacement

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Replacement

How much does it cost to replace an existing light switch?

The average cost of replacing a light switch, including labor and materials, ranges from $50 to $250. If you’re replacing an existing switch with a dimmer or smart switch, the cost will be between $80 and $250 or more. Replacing all light switches and outlets in your home can cost between $2,400 and $5,100.

Light Switch Installation Cost: Moving the Light Switch

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Moving the Switch

How much does it cost to move an existing light switch?

Moving a light switch typically costs between $100 and $300 or more, and the total cost depends on the proximity of the new location to the old switch, wiring accessibility, and compliance with local building codes. The process of moving a light switch involves removing and closing the old switch location, creating a new hole, and running the wire to the new location.

Light Switch Installation Cost By Type

The type of light switch you select has a significant impact on cost. The more complex the switch, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, a standard switch is the most affordable option, while dimmers and timers are on the higher end in terms of cost.

Cost of Installing Standard Light Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Standard Light Switches

A single light switch is a basic “on and off” switch that controls a single light fixture. Depending on the electrician, replacing a simple light switch can range from $50 to $150. This is calculated based on an average hourly fee of $50 to $100 for an electrician.

RELATED: Click here to find out the average ceiling fan installation cost.

Cost of Installing Double, Three-Way, and Four-Way Light Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Double, 3-Way, or 4-Way Light Switches

Double light switches control two devices. Three-way switches control one fixture from two locations, and four-way switches control one fixture from three locations. They require slightly different wiring than a single switch and are somewhat more expensive to replace. An average electrician will charge between $75 and $175 for this repair.

Cost of Installing Dimmer Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Dimmer Light Switches

A dimmer switch provides a range of lighting levels. However, these switches take more time to install than standard switches. Their cost typically varies from $80 to $200.

Cost of Installing Timer Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Timer Switches

Timer switches allow you to schedule the operation of lights. Their cost is not much higher than that of a dimmer switch, usually ranging from $85 to $200.

Cost of Installing Smart Light Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Smart Light Switches

Similar to dimmers and timers, the cost of installing a smart switch ranges from $85 to $150 nationwide. It’s important to note that this cost is only for the switch. If you are hardwiring smart devices, lighting packages often include items such as outlets.

Cost of Installing Transfer Switches

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Installing Transfer Switches

Transfer switches are placed near the main circuit breaker of a home and direct power from a portable or standby generator to specific appliances. Professional installation of a transfer switch usually averages $200 to $400. This is based on an electrician’s average hourly rate of $50 to $100, as it typically takes three to four hours to complete.

The location of the switch will affect the cost. For residential units, manual transfer switches range from $100 to $800, while automatic ones range from $300 to $2,000.

Before changing to a different type of switch, it’s important to check that it is compatible with the light fixture you have.

DIY Light Switch Replacement Cost

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - DIY Light Switch Replacement Cost

If you decide to replace a light switch yourself, you can save the $50 to $100 per hour fee of hiring an electrician. As long as you take the necessary safety measures, changing a simple switch should be a feasible do-it-yourself project.

To undertake this task on your own, you will require:

  • The new switch
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Standard slotted screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Voltage tester
  • Continuity tester
  • Work light

You can also do it yourself with a dimmer switch, but it’s advisable to have local licensed electricians install timers and smart switches.

When swapping out light switches, it’s common to also replace outlets. Since you will already have the power turned off and all the necessary tools at hand, this can save time that you might otherwise spend on an upgrade later. Another suggestion is to install a new light fixture or ceiling fan. Once again, you already have the necessary tools, and the power is already off. All that’s missing is the new fixture.

Light Switch Replacement: Labor Cost for Electricians

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Labor Cost for Electricians

The cost of labor for an electrician to replace light switches and outlets ranges from $40 to $100+ per hour, in addition to a service call fee of $75 to $125 in most areas. There are several factors that can impact the cost of replacing a light switch, including:

1. Quantity of switches – The total number of switches influences the amount of labor and materials needed, as well as the installation time. Typically, the installation cost per switch decreases as more switches are being replaced.

2. Quantity of fixtures – The number of fixtures controlled by the switch affects the amount of wiring involved and the time needed for installation.

3. Type of switch – If a light switch that requires different wiring is being replaced, this may increase the time needed for installation.

4. Accessibility – Replacing a light switch in a hard-to-reach area or an attic can lead to an increase in installation time and labor costs.

5. Experience of electrician – Generally, an Apprentice or Journeyman electrician charges a lower hourly rate compared to a Master electrician.

6. Building codes – Replacing a light switch in an older home might require new wiring to meet current building codes, resulting in increased installation costs.

7. Permits – Electrical permits typically range from $50 to $350. While replacing a light switch usually does not necessitate a permit, adding or altering a light switch or replacing electrical wiring generally does.

8. Upgrades – Replacing an electrical panel can cost between $850 to $4,000, depending on whether it’s being replaced with 100 Amps or upgraded to 200 or 400 Amps.

9. Repairs – The cost of repairing drywall ranges from $200 to $750+, depending on the extent of the repairs needed. If a different type of light switch requiring new wiring is being installed, it may involve opening walls and requiring extensive drywall and electrical repairs after installation.

Other Light Switch Installation Costs to Keep in Mind

Light Switch Installation Cost and Price - Other Costs to Keep in Mind
1. Cost of replacing all switches and outlets in a house

The expense of replacing all outlets and light switches in a residence ranges from $2,400 to $5,100, contingent on the size of the home, the condition of the wiring, and the types of outlets and switches. The installation of standard hardware falls at the lower end of the cost spectrum. Opting for smart switches and high-end hardware raises both material and labor expenses.

2. Cost of rewiring a light switch

The cost of rewiring a light switch is between $150 and $350+ per switch, depending on the electrical system and layout. Extensive demolition and repair of drywall can escalate the costs. Upgrading to a more complex switch type, changing control from an outlet to a ceiling fixture, or replacing a switch in an older home may necessitate rewiring.

Homes constructed prior to 1985 often require rewiring to meet current building codes. It is advisable to engage a home inspector to evaluate the entire house before replacing switches in an older home.

The cost of a home inspection ranges from $250 to $400, covering an assessment of the home’s structure, electrical system, plumbing, roof, HVAC system, and ventilation.

Rewiring a house incurs a cost of $1,600 to $7,800 or $7 to $10 per linear foot.

3. Cost of fixing or repairing a light switch

The expense of repairing a light switch is between $50 and $250, which is the same as replacing the switch. Faulty light switches are typically not repairable and necessitate replacement instead. Issues that mandate rewiring generally incur higher costs, as they extend the labor time and may entail opening walls and repairing the drywall.

4. Cost of installing an electrical panel transfer switch

The cost of installing an electrical panel transfer switch is between $400 and $2,500, inclusive of labor and materials, contingent on the size, type, layout, and electrical system of the home. A transfer switch may be manual or automatic and serves to connect a generator to the home’s hardwired electrical circuits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time does it take to change a light switch?
Replacing a light switch typically takes 15 to 30 minutes if you are replacing it with the same switch type. Installing a different switch may take 1 to 2+ hours, depending on the differences between the switches and the amount of wiring required.
What is the average lifespan of a light switch?
A light switch can malfunction over time due to normal wear and tear of its mechanical parts with repeated use. Additionally, loose wiring may cause a switch to overheat and malfunction. Well-installed light switches usually last for 20+ years. Replace a malfunctioning light switch immediately to prevent fire or electrical shock.
Is it possible to connect a GFCI outlet to a light switch?
While it is possible to connect a GFCI outlet to a light switch, some professionals do not recommend it because this safety feature may cause the lights to turn off, which could be dangerous. GFCI outlets, which are required by code in potentially wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, cut off power when they detect irregular current.
Do light switches require grounding?
A light switch does not require grounding if it is replacing an older, ungrounded light switch. However, the National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates that all new light switch installations with new wiring must be grounded. Grounding provides a safe path for excess electricity, helping to prevent electric shock and fires.
Is an electrician necessary, or can a handyman replace a light switch?
While a handyman may be capable of replacing a light switch, it is best to hire a licensed electrician. Electricians are trained to carry out electrical work safely and ensure that everything is up to code. Some states do not permit unlicensed individuals to perform any work directly related to the home's electrical system.