Wiring a Light Switch and Outlet Together Diagram

wiring a light switch and outlet together diagram

Combining a light switch and an outlet in the same box can save space and provide a convenient setup for homeowners. This article provides a clear breakdown on how to wire them together, accompanied by a simple diagrammatic representation. For those with a bit of DIY experience, this task is manageable; however, always prioritize safety and consult with a professional when in doubt.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving in, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some core concepts:

Wire Colors

  • Black (Hot): Carries the current to the device.
  • White (Neutral): Completes the circuit back to the source.
  • Green or Bare (Ground): Provides a safe path for electricity in case of short circuits.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Pliers
  • Voltage tester

Step-by-Step Wiring Process

1. Turn Off the Power

Before starting, shut off the power to the circuit you’re working on at the main breaker box. Use a voltage tester to ensure no current flows in the wires.

2. Prepare the Wires

Strip about 3/4 inch of insulation off each wire using a wire stripper. This exposes the copper wire underneath, which is necessary for making connections.

3. Connect the Outlet

  • Attach the black (hot) wire to one of the brass screws on the side of the outlet.
  • Connect the white (neutral) wire to one of the silver screws on the outlet’s opposite side.
  • Hook the green or bare wire around the green ground screw on the outlet and tighten it.

4. Link to the Light Switch

  • Run another piece of black wire from the other brass screw of the outlet to one of the terminals on the light switch. This will provide power to the switch.
  • Connect the white wire from the light fixture to the other terminal on the light switch.
  • The green or bare wire from the light fixture should be connected to the ground wire coming from the outlet (twist them together) and secured with a wire nut.

5. Finalize the Connections

Make sure all connections are tight. Wrap the outlet and switch terminals with electrical tape for safety, ensuring no exposed metal parts.

6. Restore Power

Once everything is connected and safely tucked into the electrical box, screw the outlet and switch into place. Attach the cover plate. Turn on the breaker, and test the setup to ensure the outlet and switch operate correctly.

A Diagrammatic Representation

While a text guide is helpful, many people find visual representations even more so. Consider searching online for “light switch and outlet combo wiring diagram” or similar terms. Diagrams can offer a clear picture of connections, making the process easier to follow.


Wiring a light switch and outlet together might seem daunting, but with careful attention to details and a clear understanding of wiring basics, it’s a task within reach of many homeowners. Still, when dealing with electricity, always prioritize safety and don’t hesitate to call a professional electrician if unsure. Your safety and the safety of your home are paramount.