Turn Off The Power
First turn off power to the breaker that controls the light switch.
Remove the Faceplate
Using a screwdriver, remove the existing faceplate on the light switch. If the switch has been painted over, you may need to use a razor blade to score around the plate to remove it.
Test for Power at the Switch
Turn on the voltage tester. Touch the voltage tester to the brass terminal screws on the side of the switch to verify that the power is off. If the voltage tester beeps or a light illuminates, the power is not off and it’s not safe to work on the switch. Verify the power is off before proceeding to the next steps.
Disconnect the Wires
Using your screwdriver, loosen the screws holding the switch inside the box, and then pull the switch from the box. Loosen the wires on the brass terminal screws and the green ground screw to remove the wires. If the ground wire is connected to the box, leave it as is.
Remove the Switch
It is now time to remove the old switch, and discard it.
Choose your Connection Method
Depending on the light switch, there may be additional options for attaching the wires to the light switch including push inserts in the back of the switch, though these are not as reliable as fitting the wires around the terminal screws.
Connect the Wires to the New Switch
Connect the wires to the new switch by positioning the bents ends of the wires under the brass terminal screws and tightening them down.
Connect the Ground Wire
Reconnect the ground wire to the green terminal screw on the new switch and make sure all wires are securely attached to the switch before proceeding.
Push the Switch into the Box
Use your finger to create a small bend in the wires allowing you to push the switch back into the box. Secure the switch by tightening the screws into the holes at the top and bottom of the box. The light switch mounts allow for a small amount of adjustment to make sure the light switch is straight up and down.
Install the Faceplate
Install the new faceplate by placing it over the switch and tightening the screws. Be careful to not over-tighten the screws on the faceplate, or you risk cracking the faceplate.
Turn on the Power
Turn the power back on at the breaker panel, and then verify that the light switch works properly.