Although there are variables, the national average to add or move a light switch is $150. Homeowners typically spend between $100 and $200 per switch, though changing out several will reduce the cost of each.
The factors that affect how much moving a switch will cost depends on whether you are adding wiring, a circuit breaker, the type and expense of the switch, and cost of labor charged by your electrician.
The cost to hire an electrician average $50 – $100 per hour. Although the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) sets prices in your area, licensed electricians are not obligated to respect that amount. They might charge more or less based on the amount of work they have, overhead, and other fluctuations. Hiring local is best because they know the municipal codes and are more likely to pass inspection the first time.
Before starting work, check with the building inspector’s office to find out if a permit is required and schedule an after-installation inspection. These inspections are necessary to ensure the work got completed to code, and to prevent fires, electrocution, and other hazards.
Moving a Light Switch
The average cost of moving a switch is $100 – $200. When an electrician must cut a hole for a light switch where there wasn’t one previously, it might require repairs to drywall or sheetrock and wall coverings. Check our drywall repair cost guide for more information.
The cost to the switch is typically minimal, often $10 – $20, but could be as much as $200 for a smart switch or specialty dimmer.
Replacing a Light Switch
Merely replacing a light switch because it’s broken usually costs less than $100, depending on the electrician’s minimum service charge, which typically gets rolled into the cost of the switch.
Three or Four-Way Switches
The three-way switch can control one fixture, but from two locations; such as at the top and bottom of the stairs and costs $3 – $15. Four-way switches cost $10 – $25 and can control a fixture from three places.
Dimmers: How They Work & How Much They Cost
Upgrading any light switch to include a dimmer allows the user to brighten or dim the lights depending on their needs. Although these dimmers are typically inexpensive, your home’s current wiring might need an upgrade, which will make it more expensive. For example, if you want to be able to control the brightness from two locations, you will need a three/four-way switch.
Dimmers are also often rated for less wattage than a typical switch. Check the number of fixtures and the current on your lighting circuit to ensure you can use a dimmer. There are high-current dimmers available, but the selection is more limited, and the cost is higher. Try our watts to amps calculator to compare the current on your lighting circuit to the wattage rating of the dimmer.
An electrician might suggest upgrading the wiring to meet current municipal codes depending on the dimmer and number and type of lights.
Installing a Smart Light Switch
You can get a smart light switch for $50 – $100 and get it installed for the price of a standard service call fee if there are no complications. With these, you can control your lights from a smartphone or tablet, and even voice commands with smart listening devices.
However, if you choose LED lights on a dimmer, make sure the bulbs are the type that will dim. LED lights use low wattage. Therefore, many dimmers will not function unless the LED light bulb is specifically made to dim.
DIY or Hire a Professional
Although you may be able to find a self-help book or DIY video on the internet to move or replace a switch, some variables could make it dangerous. Outdated wiring might not handle the load of increased current, which could cause a fire. An experienced electrician might cost a little more initially, but they will complete the work quicker and safer.
If you choose to hire a professional, you should get three or more estimates, compare their statements of work to ensure they cover everything you need to get done, check references, liability insurance, and give everyone fair consideration.
Typically, licensed electricians charge $50 – $100 per hour, but some require a minimum price to make a service call.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.