Skip to Content

Why Does My Light Switch Have a Red Wire? (Explained)

You will mostly find different colors of wires. Black, white, red, gray, and blue are popular among the others. Some may be used to supply electricity; others may work as neutral wires, and so more. However, you will find three different wires in your light switch.

There might be only two wires in some light switches, but it’s a rare case. Mainly, the third wire works as the connector or transfers the electric flow. It depends on the manufacturers.

What is the red wire for on the light switch?

The red wire is responsible for carrying the electricity from the light switch if the switch is turned off simultaneously with turning off the cable.

If your switch has numerous modes, and each mode controls a single light or a group of lights, you will need to utilize red wire for the connection.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you may use the red wire on a light switch as an additional hot wire or to handle numerous switches simultaneously.

You can use red wires as auxiliary hot wires to provide additional power in electrical installations. Likewise, red wires are highly hot, and they are clearly labeled to limit the possibility of any danger or injury.

In installing a ceiling fan where there is already a light switch, you may use red cables regularly.

You can also see right away what kind of role red wire is playing by looking at it. As long as the cable is warm, it will be able to transmit electrical current.

It moves from one switch to the next in a continuous flow. When you turn on the light, the current will flow through either the black or red wire from one switch and then between the wires from the other switches.

It can also play a critical role in a circuit where power is routed first from the switch and then to a controlled lighting fixture, or even in the circuit between the sockets if the circuit is designed correctly. The use of plug-in bulbs can provide you with additional control.

Why does my light switch have a red wire?

Your light switch has a red wire to pass or provide the electricity. It might be the hot wire that is active on the socket. Once you turn on the switch, it will start to pass the electricity to the circuit board. Also, the red wire is used as the secondary hot wire in installing the ceiling fan.

There are a couple of reasons you will find for the red wire. Among them, the secondary hot wire is the best one. It bears the electricity and transfers to the next destination. Let’s explore the other reasons.

Secondary Hot Wire:

Your light switch has the red wire because the switch gets the current from the power source through this red wire.

In some cases, this wire is also the secondary wire that transfers the electric flows from the power source to the light switch outlet.

In some switches, the red wire plays the role of the main hot wire that transfers all the electricity from the source to the destination. So, you have to deal with it carefully. It can cause an electric shock and hurt you consequently.

Maintain The Electric Flow:

The black wire transfers the electricity from the power source to the light, but the red wire is the secondary or the helping hand. The black wire might fail to transfer the right amount of electric flow to the switch to turn on the light.

In that situation, the red wire comes forward and applies the rest demands from the power source. It helps the primary black wire to maintain the proper electric flow.

Do you need the red wire on a light switch?

You must need the red wire on a light switch. Mainly, the red wires are used in the case of light switches during electrical connections that generally indicate the flowing current passes through this way. The phase is meant with the red wire when doing any electrical work.

In the case of electrical wiring, it is essential to determine the color of the wires to understand the connection by looking at the color of the wires in case of any future problems.

Also, the wires can tell us how they are connected to the current light flowing from the distribution board.

The red wire comes from the main connection and connects to one end of the light so that current flows through it.

Then when the other end of the light is reconnected to the mainline with the other wire, the circuit is full, and the light starts to glow. Thus a red wire is used to run on a light switch.

Where does the red wire go on a light?

The red wire comes from its main distribution line and is connected to the switch; then, the other end is attached with a bulb.

It means the red wire goes inside that light or bulb. When the switch is turned on, the internal conductor connects with the other end, and the current instantly flows.

As a result, the electric lamp began to give light. In addition to connecting the lights, one has to be careful to use the red wire in any electrical connection because depending on it, the circuit is designed correctly and, at the same time, understandable to everyone.

The red wire is the wire through which electricity flows, and when the tester is connected to it, it lights the lamp and gives the presence of current.

Although many times the black wire is used in this case. We know that the circuit must be completed to get the electricity results so that a light or fan, or other electrical appliance can start running.

The red wire comes from its main distribution line and is connected to the switch; the other end is attached with a bulb. When the switch is turned on, the internal conductor connects with the other end, and the current instantly flows. As a result, the electric lamp began to give light.

Can I connect red and black wires together on a light switch?

You cannot use red wire and black wire together in a light switch connection, which is against the rules of electrical wiring, because the red wire and black wire are used as complements to each other in an electrical connection.

This is because the black wire is used to carry current, just as the red wire carries current in an electrical connection. Also, green is used as its ground connected with the earth.

However, if you want, you can use two types of wires together for the home because all the wiring characteristics are the same.

Just in case any electrical problem arises, any electrician can understand the connections of the light and repair it accordingly. Above all, if the electrical wiring is done following these requirements, the work is understandable.

How do you wire a light switch with a red wire?

You can wire a light switch with a red wire with some steps. You need to have DIY tools like the screwdriver, screws, and tape. They will help you to wire the light switch with a red wire. Let’s begin the process.

Disconnect the Electricity:

Before starting attaching the red wire, you must disconnect the electricity from there. You can plug out the main switch and turn off the entire room’s electricity. Because only turning off the light switch won’t be safe.

Open the Socket/Board:

You must buy the light switch and be sure to have all the screws along with the switch packet. You can open the socket board or the switchboard with a screwdriver.

Then, you will have the wires that you need to connect through the tape. Before that, place the light switch on the socket, and hold it for a while.

Cut the wire & Insert it through the holes:

You need to cut the red wires or remove a few portions from the top and get the cables from the inside. Twist it to get a solid and durable part from the red wire.

After that, you need to insert those cables into the light switch holes. Then, tighten the screws over the cables and firmly attach them.

Final Thoughts

You have the red wire on the light switch as the secondary hot wire. It transfers the electric flow from the power source to the outlets. So, it’s the active wire that you need to maintain. It can cause an electric shock if you touch it directly. So, the red wire should be there on your switch.