Wiring an illuminated light switch

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Old 10-27-16, 10:14 AM
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Wiring an illuminated light switch

Hi, I need to know if I can wire a single pole lighted wall switch with 1 ground screw and two brass screws to an outlet with one ground and only one black and one neutral (white) wire?
Thank you!
 
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Old 10-27-16, 10:43 AM
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As long as you have a neutral a lighted switch can be used. But there should be more than 2 brass screws and a ground screw on the switch. There needs to be a connection on the switch for the neutral.
 
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Old 10-27-16, 11:18 AM
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In this case.... it sounds like the light switch is one that has the indicator across the two screw terminals. This type of switch will light up when it's turned off and there is something plugged into the receptacle (a load).
 
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Old 10-27-16, 12:31 PM
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In this case.... it sounds like the light switch is one that has the indicator across the two screw terminals. This type of switch will light up when it's turned off and there is something plugged into the receptacle (a load).
I thought of that after my post. But as you said that kind of switch will only light up when something is plugged in and turned on. I was thinking of the type of switch that stays illuminated when off to find it in the dark.
 
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Old 10-27-16, 06:21 PM
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The most common type of illuminated light switch lights up when flipped off. It is wired up in the same fashion as a regular unlighted switch. Since you have a wall switch in order to turn off the light fixture that is on the ceiling, or at the far corner of the room, the light was in its own "on" position and will complete the circuit for the wall switch to glow.

If you turn off a floor lamp's or other fixture's own socket controlled by the wall switch the wall switch will stop glowing. But if you are going to walk over and turn the lamp socket knob on or off as needed, then why worry about whether the wall switch is glowing?

An illuminated switch may cause very low wattage lights including LEDs being controlled to flicker when they should be off.

They also make switches that glow when flipped on, mainly used to control lights or equipment in a different room or some distance away. These switches need a neutral as well as the raw hot and the switched line.

In modern wiring, a white wire attached to a switch pole terminal is not neutral and correctly should have a band of colored (not green) tape or stain at each end.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 10-27-16 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 10-28-16, 06:50 AM
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Thank you for your responses. So it sounds like I need to buy a different lighted switch with to control the basement light. Would it still have two brass screws along with the silver for nuetral? If so, do I have to pigtail the black? Thank you again!
 
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Old 10-28-16, 09:56 AM
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If so, do I have to pigtail the black?
Pigtail what black to what?

For what you want (best practice) you need three wires at the switch. One hot in, one hot out, one neutral. If you have only a hot in and a hot out it will not work for a receptacle or light fixture with some types of load. Do not confuse a white wire used as a hot wire with a white wire used as a neutral.

If power comes in at the switch then your good to go. If power comes in at the light you can not use the traditional 2-conductor cable (black, white) for the switch loop. The switch loop must be a 3-conductor cable (black, red, white).
 
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Old 10-28-16, 10:36 AM
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You never said what you wanted in the way of a lighted switch.
Do you want it to be on when the lights are on or on when the lights are off ?

If you want the type of switch that comes on when the lights are on then you will need additional wiring like Ray mentioned.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 12:32 PM
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I just wanted the switch to be illuminated when the overhead light in the basement is off so that the switch is easier to find in the dark. Again, the light switch outlet box just has one black, one white , and one copper wire. The single pole lighted switch I picked up just has two brass screws and a green ground screw.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 12:46 PM
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The white is a constant hot to the switch. You have a switch loop with no neutral.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 01:05 PM
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So the white wire would need to go on the brass screw labeled "lighted device" and the black wire on the brass screw on the opposite side?
 
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Old 10-28-16, 01:55 PM
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Does the light fixture in question have an incandescent bulb or a compact fluorescent or maybe an LED? Generally the "night light" switches, those that have a dim light when the main lamp is off, work best (or only) with the old-fashioned incandescent lamps.

It should not make any difference which wire is on which switch terminal but go ahead and try it both ways.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 02:29 PM
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Yes, they are regular incandescent lamps. Thank you so much for your expertise!
 
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Old 10-28-16, 10:34 PM
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If it is to a receptacle it will only light up if something is plugged in and turned on.
 
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