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Upgrading Electric Switches


decora light switchUpgrading your electric light switches is a reasonably cheap way to make your interior look 20 years younger. At less than five minutes per switch, you can do the entire house in an afternoon.

Back in the day, builders all used the small skinny light switches. They are cheap and are available anywhere. However for about $1.50 per switch, you can upgrade to a decora switch. Decora switches are modern. They are wide and flat and have a fulcrum that you toggle for on and off. You can get these switches for any switch needs, such as dimmer switches, two-way, three-way, and four-way switches, and you can buy some that even illuminate. Installing them is exactly like installing the old-fashioned switches. You will have to buy a new faceplate with each switch.

Turn the power off, remove the faceplate and loosen the screws that hold the old switch to the box. You are simply going to replace the wires in the same positions on the new switch that they were on the old switch. Loosen the terminal screws on the old switch, remove the wire and wrap it clockwise around the new switch’s terminal, and tighten snugly. Re-secure it to the box and install the new faceplate.


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