How to Install a Door Jamb Switch

closeup of a door jamb
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-120
What You'll Need
Door jamb switch

The door jamb switch can be a very useful device that can be installed on the hinge side of a closet door. With this type of switch, it will not be necessary to switch the closet light on or off manually. Door jamb switches offer convenience because most closet lights are hard to reach or hard to find in the dark. Sometimes, closet lights are accidentally left on for a long period of time before they are switched off again. To ensure that the closet light is turned off after the closet door is closed, consider using this type of switch. Fitting the switch to the door jamb is pretty easy to do. Here is how it is done.

Step 1 – Plan the Location of the Switch

It is best for the switch to be installed above the door hinge. This means that the switch will be installed on the door’s hinge side. This location is perfect because the door presses the switch as it closes. Once it opens again, it releases the switch and turns on the light.

Step 2 – Trace the Location of the Switch

Before tracing the location, make sure to have the switch ready in order to get the correct template and dimensions of the required hole. Purchase the switch from an electronics supply shop. Trace the location of the switch by tracing its template to the chosen location.

Step 3 – Cut the Mounting Hole

Use a drill bit or a power drill to cut at least four or six holes on the corners of the rectangular template traced earlier. Use a chisel to remove the wood on the mounting hole. Make sure to create a hole that is deep enough for the junction box of the switch.

Step 4 – Fit the Junction Box into Hole

Sand the entire hole first until it is smooth. Make sure to find the knockout closure before inserting the junction box into the hole. Drill a hole on the location of the knockout closure as well. Insert the junction box into the hole.

WARNING: To keep wood and metal particles from getting into your eyes and lungs, wear safety glasses and a face mask while working with an electric sander.

Step 5 – Shut Down the Power Supply

Before installing the wiring, make sure that the power source is turned off to avoid electric shock. Always exercise caution when working with electrical wiring.

Step 6 – Connect the Wiring

Connect the closet light to the switch by running a wire through the drilled hole. This wire will run from the knockout closure to the junction box. Make sure to make the proper connections. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on wiring.

Step 7 – Secure the Switch in Place

Secure the plate cover to the junction box of the switch and screw all connections in place. Make certain that the screws will not interfere with the closing of the closet door. Turn on the power and check if the switch works. If the light turns on when the door is opened and turns off when the door is closed, the installation is successful.