We’re in DIY overdrive at the moment. Our garden is undergoing a much larger makeover than we’d anticipated. We’ve laid turf, are adding the finishing touches to our new garden fence (more on that soon) and have a new cellar floor .
Our fourth bedroom has also undergone a transformation over the last few months and now that we have a lovely new ceiling pendant which we installed last week, so it only seemed right to update our switches and sockets, too.
I really hate the standard ugly plastic switches here in the UK. They just look (and are) cheap and seeing screws and fixings in general is right at the top of my list of things around the home that I hate most. Changing your switches and sockets is a super easy update to make and if there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s the little things that really make a room come together.
Here’s our guide on how to change a lightswitch:
1. Turn off the electricity – make sure it’s really off!
2. Unscrew the old socket or switch and carefully pull it away from the wall.
3. Check your wires with a voltage tester screwdriver to make sure that they definitely aren’t live. Never take risks with your safety. Always make sure that your mains power is switched off. Before you start work, test your cables with a voltage tester.
4. Loosen the little screws on the socket – the wires should then just slide out. The green/yellow cable should still be connected to the mounting box in the wall.
The most common version of a light switch is a metal mounting box with a plastic faceplate.
We’ve had most of our electrics updated, but have kept some of the old cables that were in a good condition. Old cables like ours are red (live) and black (neutral), newer cables are brown (live) and blue (neutral). The earth cable is always yellow & green.
5. Connect the cables to the new switch in the same way that they were connected to the old one. If anything is different, or you’re unsure about something get advice from a professional electrician.
6. Make sure that you’ve securely attached the cables. If you’re using a metal switchplate like we are, make sure you earth the switch faceplate.
When everything is connected push the switch back into the box and and screw it to the mounting box.
7. Then just clip the screwless cover to the socket, before turning the electricity back on and admiring your new socket.
Remember to always be safe. Any electrics have to be installed in accordance with local Building Regulations. We’re not electricians, so if you’re unsure about anything, consult an electrician and consult your local authority. Be safe!
For us, it’s the little changes like new sockets and switches that make a huge difference between an okay room and a great room.
Do you hate seeing screws and fixings as much as I do? Do you have something else that you hate? What do you think finishes a room off?