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How to Switch Basement Lighting

Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron helps a homeowner add switching to basement lights that used to be controlled by a pull string


  1. Before doing any electrical work, ensure the power is turned off at the circuit breaker.
  2. It’s best to trace the path of power from the circuit panel to determine which fixtures are receiving constant power and which are receiving switched power.
  3. Setting basement lighting to one switch may be as simple as changing the path of power at one splice and require no additional rewiring.
  4. When rewiring, updating to an LED fixture can save electricity.

All materials for this project, including fixtures, non-metallic wire, and switch can be purchased at a home center or electrical supply house.

Scott installed the 7" Spin Light LED kit fixture (model# 54606242), manufactured by ETI Solid State Lighting.

Expert assistance with this project was provided by Caron Electric.