How Much Does It Cost to Replace My Light Switches?

Lisa Gauthier Mitchison
Updated July 25, 2022
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Photo: Gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock

Most homeowners pay between $100 and $200 to have a light switch installed

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Want to light up your home with new light switches? The average cost to install a light switch is around $150. The low end is $60, and the high end is $300. The difference depends mostly on the type: standard, double, dimmer, or timer switch. Learn more about the cost of installing a light switch, when to hire an electrician, and how to install them.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Light Switches by Type?

A big cost factor is the switch’s style. The more elaborate, the more costly. So, a standard switch is your least expensive repair, while dimmers and timers land on the higher side.

Standard Light Switch Installation Costs

A single light switch is the standard “on and off” switch that controls one item. Depending on your electrician, a simple light switch replacement can cost between $50 and $150. It’s the easiest switch to replace. This price is based on an electrician’s average hourly charge of $50 to $100 per hour.

Double, Three-Way, and Four-Way Light Switch Installation Costs

Double light switches operate two items. Three-way switches power one fixture at two locations, and four-way switches operate one fixture from three locations. They require slightly different wiring than a single switch and are a bit more expensive to replace.

A typical electrician will charge between $75 and $175 for this repair.

Dimmer Switch Installation Costs

A dimmer switch can give you a range of illumination. However, these switches do require more time to install than standard switches. They usually run between $80 and $200.

Timers Installation Costs

Timer switches allow you to set lights to a schedule. Timer switches don't cost much more than a dimmer switch, typically between $85 and $200.

Smart Light Switch Installation Costs

Like dimmers and timers, smart switch installation runs between $85 and $150 nationally. Note that this is the switch only. If you are doing hardwiring of smart devices, lights often come in a package deal with items such as outlets.

Transfer Switch Installation Costs

Transfer switches are installed near the main breaker of your home and direct power from a portable or standby generator to select appliances. Professional installation of a transfer switch averages $200 to $400. This is based on an electrician’s average hourly charge of $50 to $100 per hour, since this is a three- to four-hour job. 

The location of the switch will be a factor in the cost. The residential units range from $100 to $800 for a manual and $300 to $2,000 for an automatic.

What Kinds of Light Switches Can I Get on My Budget?

There are a lot of different light switches for you to choose from. Wiring is a large component of switches, so talk to your electrician about your options. Good news: The switches themselves are relatively inexpensive.

Here’s a look at what it’ll cost to replace your light switches:

  • Standard: $1–$20

  • Double: $10–$20

  • Three-way: $3–$15

  • Four-way: $10–$25

  • Dimmer: $10–$25

  • Timers: $20–$150

  • Smart: $20–$100

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Light Switch Yourself?

A man using a screwdriver replaces a light switch
Photo: Sidekick / Adobe Stock

Going DIY will save you the $50 to $100 per hour cost of an electrician. As long as you take the necessary safety precautions, changing a straightforward switch should be a simple DIY project.

To do the job yourself, you will need:

  • The new switch (see above for average costs)

  • Phillips tip screwdriver

  • Standard slotted-tip screwdriver

  • Work light

  • Voltage tester

  • Continuity tester

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Wire strippers

Dimmer switches can also be DIYed, but it is recommended that timers and smart switches be installed by a local licensed electrician.

A popular add-on when changing out light switches is replacing outlets. Since you will have the power off and all the tools at the ready, it will save time you might take later to install an upgrade.

Another idea is to install a new light fixture or ceiling fan. Again, you already have the tools you need and the power off. The only thing missing is the new fixture.

FAQs

How much does it cost to have an electrician move a light switch?

If you need to move a light switch, an electrician will charge between $100 to $150, according to HomeAdvisor. Whether you need to cut into the wall and repair drywall will determine your final project cost. 

How difficult is it to replace a light switch?

DIYing your own light switch install is an easy project to tackle—especially if you’re replacing an existing switch. Rewiring a light switch yourself is also a quick 30-minute upgrade. For either project, you need to know how to isolate the circuit and operate some basic tools. Upgrading to a smart switch or dimmer switch get a bit more intricate, so you may want to hire an electrician.

Can a broken light switch cause a fire?

Bad switches are usually the result of loose wiring or overheating issues. In most cases, it’s not a fire hazard, but if you hear crackling, popping, or hissing sound when you flip the switch, this indicates live electricity inside the switch, which could pose a hazard if not remedied quickly. 

Can you put a dimmer on a three-way switch?

Yes, but you must install a three-way dimmer on a three-way switch. If two switches control a single light or multiple lights, you will need a three-way dimmer.

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