Hardwire light and get rid of light switch.

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-22-19, 01:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hardwire light and get rid of light switch.

Hi. I have a short-term rental and the front of my house is pitch black at night. There is a light switch on the inside of the house that controls the front lights, which only turn on when there is no light. However, if that switch is off, they don't turn on at all. I have tried everything from putting a label "Leave on. Do not turn off" to putting a clip on the switch and still from time to time, renters turn it off when they check out and the next renters complain that they tripped on the front steps because it was so dark out.

I want to permanently wire this light to never be able to be turned off and cover where the switch is with a blank plate.

I've researched this extensively and different posts say different things and many offer alternative solutions (none of which would accomplish what I'm trying to do). There's also a lot of posts where someone asked and was essentially told "don't do that", rather than actually helping them get to the solution.

Thank you in advance!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-22-19, 01:07 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,076
Received 242 Votes on 221 Posts
Ok, what is your question?

I think leaving the lights powered all the time is a good idea especially since you mention they are on a photo eye so they won't illuminate during the day. Removing the switch and installing a blank cover plate also makes it easy to revert to a switch in the future if you decide.
 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 10-22-19, 01:31 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7,520
Received 80 Votes on 74 Posts
There is nothing wrong with removing the switch.

Turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Remove the switch plate, remove switch and twist tie the black wires together and cap with a wire nut. Test the light by turning the breaker back on. If it works, shut the power again and assemble blank plate then turn on power.
 
  #4  
Old 10-22-19, 03:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
On this switch, there is a black wire (hot), a white wire (neutral) and a ground. What should I do with each?
 
  #5  
Old 10-22-19, 03:13 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7,520
Received 80 Votes on 74 Posts
Remove switch, tie all like colors together and cap off with wire nuts. If metal box, pig tail the bare ground to the box. The switch is only an interrupt for the power supply. Remove the interrupt and power is continuously supplied to the light.
 
koticphreak voted this post useful.
  #6  
Old 10-22-19, 03:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you! Very helpful! What do you mean by "pigtail the bare ground to the box"? Is there an image of this somewhere you can reference? Thanks again!
 
  #7  
Old 10-22-19, 04:14 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7,520
Received 80 Votes on 74 Posts
Pigtail means you tie al the same colors together including a short piece of wire (say about 6"). The free end is screwed (in your case the bare ground wire) to the metal box. In the attached image is a good example of a pig tail, except in this case it's for neutral wire going to an oulet.

 
  #8  
Old 10-23-19, 04:21 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 387
Received 35 Votes on 34 Posts
If there is only one wire coming into the box, you should not have to pigtail anything.
Just attache the ground wire (bare copper) to the box.
There are usually a couple screws to do this.
Do not cut is shorter just coil it up and push it into the box.

Also sometimes the ground is attached to the box and then continues on to the switch, in this case you do not have to do anything just coil it up.

FYI: The white is not a Neutral in this case it is a return so when the switch is closed white is now hot.
 
  #9  
Old 10-23-19, 05:27 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7,520
Received 80 Votes on 74 Posts
FYI: The white is not a Neutral in this case it is a return so when the switch is closed white is now hot.
I believe this is true only if the power source is at the light fixture as opposed to the switch.
 
  #10  
Old 10-23-19, 06:09 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 6,814
Received 87 Votes on 80 Posts
The only thing you need to do is take the two wires off the switch and connect them together with a wire nut.
You don't care what colour they are.
You don't care where the power source is.
Don't mess any other connections in the box.
There could be a bare ground connected to the switch. Disconnect it and stuff into back of box.
 
  #11  
Old 10-23-19, 07:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay, now I'm a bit confused and feel like I'm getting mixed messages. Do I connect the black and white to each other or leave each on their own?
 
  #12  
Old 10-23-19, 09:13 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 387
Received 35 Votes on 34 Posts
Connect them together with a wire nut.
This is basically what happens when you turn the switch on.

be sure to turn the power off at the breaker before doing this!
 
  #13  
Old 10-23-19, 09:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 6,814
Received 87 Votes on 80 Posts
If you want the light to permanently on you connect the two wires from the switch together.
If those wires are black and white then yes you connect the black and white together.
 
  #14  
Old 10-23-19, 09:17 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,076
Received 242 Votes on 221 Posts
If you only have two conductors (white and black) there is only one thing you can do... connect them together. There is nothing else you can do with only two conductors after you remove the switch. They are either connected together or they are not. Very simple.

If your enclosure is metal attach the bare copper wire to the box. They usually have a green screw. If the box is plastic just tuck with wire inside the box for future use.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: