How much does it cost to install or replace a light switch?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to install or replace a light switch?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to install or replace a light switch?

$50 – $250cost to replace an existing light switch
$100 – $300cost to install a new light switch

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$50 – $250 cost to replace an existing light switch

$100 – $300 cost to install a new light switch


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Cost to replace a light switch

The cost to replace a light switch is $50 to $250 on average for labor and materials, while new light switch installation costs $100 to $300. Replacing an existing switch with a dimmer or smart switch costs $80 to $250+. Replacing all light switches and outlets costs $2,400 to $5,100.

Cost to replace a light switch
Project Average cost
Replace standard light switch $50 – $150*
Replace double, 3-way, or 4-way light switch $70 – $200
Replace with a smart or dimmer switch $80 – $250+
Install new light switch $100 – $300
Move a light switch $100 – $300
Replace all light switches & outlets in a house $2,400 – $5,100
Install electrical panel transfer switch $400 – $2,500

*Most electricians have a $75 to 125 service call fee and charge a one-hour minimum rate.

Cost to install a dimmer switch

The cost to install a dimmer switch is $80 to $200 on average for labor and materials. Check the current wiring or have an electrician determine the best dimmer switch type for the home's electrical system to avoid additional installation costs.

  • Use a single pole dimmer switch for a light controlled by one switch.

  • Use a 3-way dimmer switch when two switches control the same light.

  • Choose a universal dimmer to ensure the unit works with any light bulb type as not all dimmer switches and light bulb types are compatible.

Timer switch installation cost

Timer switch installation costs $80 to $200 on average, depending on the type and wiring required. Just like dimmer switches, some timer switch installations require a neutral wire. Confirm the home's current electrical setup or consult and electrician to select the best timer switch type for the application.

Cost to replace a 3-way switch

The cost to replace an existing 3-way switch is $70 to $200 per switch, including labor and materials. Replacing a standard switch with a 3-way switch costs $160 to $300 total.

Installing a new 3-way switch costs $200 to $450 on average. 3-way switches install in pairs, allowing light control from two locations. Installation requires cutting two new holes and running wire to each switch.

Smart switch installation cost

Smart switch installation costs $80 to $250+, depending on the type. The smart switch alone costs $20 to $100+ and allows control and programming from a smartphone or other smart device. Installation is similar to a standard switch, but most smart switches require a neutral and ground wire.

Cost to install a new light switch

The cost to install a new light switch is $100 to $300 on average for labor and materials, depending on the switch type and wiring accessibility. Installation costs more when adding the new light switch requires running wire through closed walls compared to during new construction or in an unfinished basement.

An electrician installing a new light switch.
An electrician installing a new light switch.

Cost to move a light switch

The cost to move a light switch is $100 to $300+, depending on the new location's proximity to the old switch, wiring accessibility, and local building codes. Moving a light switch involves removing and closing the old switch location, cutting a new hole, and running wire to the new location.

Light switch prices by type

A light switch costs $1 to $100+ for the part alone, depending on the type. The cheapest light switch is a standard single pole single switch, controlling one fixture from one switch. Smart switches cost the most but offer the most options, allowing light control and programming through a smartphone app or voice assistant.

Light switch prices by type
Light switch type Average unit price* How it works
Single pole single switch $1 – $20
  • Controls 1 light from 1 switch
  • Simplest switch design
Single pole double switch $5 – $30
  • 2 single-pole switches on 1 panel
  • Controls 2 lights, one from each switch
Double pole single switch $8 – $25
  • Powers a 240-volt appliance
  • May control two 120-volt fixtures from one switch, such as a light and a fan
3-way switch $3 – $20 
  • Controls 1 light from 2 locations
  • Requires two 3-way switches
4-way switch $5 –$30
  • Controls 1 light from 3 or more locations
  • Used in combination with 3-way switches
Dimmer switch $6 – $40
  • Adjusts light brightness level up or down
  • Uses a rotating knob, sliding lever, or one or more push buttons to increase or decrease electric current traveling between the switch and the light
Photoelectric switch $10 – $20
  • Dawn to dusk lighting; turns light on when natural light is reduced.
  • Useful for outdoor lighting
Timer switch $15 – $70
  • Controls the light switch with a timing mechanism
  • May be digital or mechanical
  • Digital timer switches offer more programming options
Motion sensor switch $20 – $50
  • Activates when motion is detected
  • Light turns off after no motion is detected for a preset time
Smart switch $20 – $100
  • Control the light switch with a smartphone app or voice assistant.
  • Connects to the home's wireless network

*Not including installation.

  • 3-way switches are useful for light control from both hallway ends or from the top and bottom of a staircase.

  • Smart or programmable timer switches are ideal for added security to create the appearance of being home by turning lights on and off at random or preset times.

  • Controlling one light from three or more locations requires two 3-way switches—one at each end—and one or more 4-way switches in between.

Electrician labor cost to replace light switch

An electrician's labor cost to replace light switches and outlets is $40 to $100+ per hour plus a $75 to $125 service call fee in most areas. Other factors affecting the cost to replace a light switch include:

  • Number of switches – The number of switches impacts the labor and materials required and the installation time. The installation cost per switch often goes down as the number of switches being replaced increases.

  • Number of fixtures – The number of fixtures the switch is controlling impacts the amount of wiring involved and the resulting installation time.

  • Switch type – Replacing a light switch with a switch that requires different wiring may increase the installation time.

  • Accessibility – Replacing a light switch in an attic or difficult-to-reach area increases the installation time and labor cost.

  • Electrician experience – An Apprentice or Journeyman electrician often charges less per hour than a Master electrician.

  • Building codes – Replacing a light switch in an older home may require new wiring to bring it up to current building codes, increasing installation costs.

  • Permits – Electrical permits cost $50 to $350. Replacing a light switch does not typically require a permit but adding or altering a light switch or replacing electrical wiring typically requires a permit.

  • Upgrades – Replacing an electrical panel costs $850 to $4,000, depending on whether replacing with 100 Amps or upgrading to 200 or 400 Amps.

  • RepairsDrywall repair costs $200 to $750+, depending on the amount needing repair. Replacing a light switch with a different type requiring new wiring may involve opening walls and extensive drywall repairs after installation.

Replace all switches and outlets in a house

The cost to replace all outlets and light switches in a house is $2,400 to $5,100, depending on the home size, wiring conditions, and outlet and switch types. Installing standard hardware falls at the low end of the range. Upgrading to smart switches and high-end hardware increases material and labor costs.

Rewiring a light switch

Rewiring a light switch costs $150 to $350+ per switch, depending on the electrical system and layout. Extensive drywall demo and repair increases costs. Upgrading to a complex switch type, changing control from an outlet to a ceiling fixture, or replacing a switch in an older home may require rewiring.

Homes built before 1985 often require rewiring to bring them up to current building codes. Consider hiring a home inspector to assess the whole house before replacing switches in an older home.

Cost to fix or repair a light switch

Fixing a light switch costs $50 to $250, the same as replacing the switch. Faulty light switches typically can't be repaired and must be replaced instead. Issues that require rewiring typically cost more as they increase the labor time and may involve opening walls and repairing the drywall."

Install electrical panel transfer switch

Installing an electrical panel transfer switch costs $400 to $2,500 for labor and materials, depending on the size, type, and the home's layout and electrical system. A transfer switch may be manual or automatic and connects a generator to the home's hardwired electrical circuits.

  • A transfer switch shifts the power supply from the main line to the generator during an outage.

  • A manual transfer switch requires physically flipping the switch when the power goes out. An automatic switch detects a power outage and shifts to generator power on its own.

  • Transfer switch installation involves installing a power inlet box, a transfer switch panel, and wiring the desired circuits from the main electrical panel to the transfer switch panel circuits.

Light switch FAQs

How long does it take to replace a light switch?

Replacing a light switch takes 15 to 30 minutes when replacing it with the same switch type. Installing a different switch may take 1 to 2+ hours, depending on the switch differences and the amount of wiring needed.

Can a light switch go bad? How long do they last?

A light switch can go bad over time from the mechanical parts' normal wear and tear with repeated use. Loose wiring may also cause a switch to overheat and go bad. Properly installed light switches last 20+ years. Replace a bad light switch immediately to prevent fire or electrical shock.

Signs a light switch is going bad include:

  • The lights flicker when first turned on.

  • The light does not turn on right away when flipping the switch.

  • Flipping the light switch on creates a buzzing, crackling, hissing, or popping sound.

  • The light switch sparks inside when turned on.

Can a GFCI outlet be connected to a light switch?

A GFCI outlet can be connected to a light switch, but some experts do not recommend it as this safeguard may result in the lights cutting off, which is dangerous. GFCI outlets—required by code in potentially wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens—cut power when they detect irregular current.

Can a light switch be changed to an outlet?

A light switch can be changed to an outlet or to an outlet-switch combination, though the wiring configurations for light switches and outlets are different. Hire a licensed electrician to ensure the new setup is wired correctly.

Do light switches need to be grounded?

A light switch does not need to be grounded if it is replacing an older, ungrounded light switch. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires all new light switch installations with new wiring to be grounded. Grounding gives excess electricity a safe path, helping to prevent electric shock and fires.

Do I need an electrician, or can a handyman replace a light switch?

While a handyman may be able to replace a light switch, hiring a licensed electrician is best. Electricians are trained to perform electrical work safely and ensure everything is up to code. Some states do not allow unlicensed persons to perform any work directly connected to the home's electrical system.

Getting estimates from light switch installers

Before hiring an electrician to install a switch, be sure to:

  • Find out if your local building code requires a permit for the installation.

  • Get at least two or three in-person estimates to compare.

  • Check their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Hire a company that is licensed, bonded, insured, and in business for 5+ years.

  • Avoid hiring the company with the lowest bid as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the project starts.

  • Never pay in full before the project is complete. Work out a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • What experience do you have installing light switches?

  • Can you provide local references?

  • Do you handle the permitting process if needed?

  • What is and is not included in the estimate?

  • What additional costs might come up during installation?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it cover?