Light Switch Common Wire Colour

By | August 18, 2022



Light switches are a common household item used to control the lighting in any given space. The most common type of light switch uses three wires: the common wire, usually black; the traveler wire, typically red; and the ground wire, often green or bare. Understanding the wire colors and how they relate to each other is crucial for wiring a light switch correctly and safely.

The common wire is one of two wires that connect the common terminal to the traveler terminal. This is an important connection because it supplies power to the light switch. The other wire runs from the common terminal to the load side of the switch, which connects to the load (i.e. the light fixture) to be controlled by the switch. The common wire is usually black and is identified as the “hot” wire, meaning it carries unbalanced electrical current when the switch is in the on position. It should always be identified clearly before any other wires are connected.

When wiring a light switch, it is important to properly identify which wire is the common so it can be connected safely and securely. It’s also important to check the desired switch for compatibility with the electrical box and the current wiring setup. When done correctly, wiring a light switch is a safe and simple process that anyone can do. Following the directions carefully and understanding the common wire colour will help ensure that the switch is correctly wired and the lights are in working order.


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