How to Wire a Doorbell from a Light Switch (3-Step Guide)

Linking a doorbell to a light switch allows you to control your doorbell easily without incurring the extra costs of purchasing a new power socket.

As an electrician, I have done this many times and I can say it’s a simple task that you can do without hiring an expert. You only need to locate and wire the transformer to the doorbell and then to the switch.

In general, to wire a doorbell from a light switch.

  • Locate the transformer in the electrical box or install a new 16-volt transformer in the electrical box.
  • Attach the lead wire from the button on the red screw on the transformer, and the lead wire from the chime to any screw on the transformer.
  • Split the electrical line in a light switch box such that one goes to the doorbell and the other to the switch.

I will go into more detail below.

What You Need

You need the following tools and materials to install a doorbell in a light switch:

  • Connecting wires – 22 gauge
  • A digital multimeter
  • Wire splitter
  • Wire nuts
  • Doorbell
  • A screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers

The Importance of a Transformer in a Doorbell Connection

A doorbell is usually wired to a transformer that converts 120 volts of alternating current from a given electrical source to 16 volts. (1)

A doorbell cannot operate in a 120 volts circuit as it will explode. So, a transformer is a critical and mandatory equipment to the wire on a doorbell, and you cannot avoid it when installing a doorbell in your home. It regulates the voltage that reaches the doorbell chimes.

Wiring a Doorbell to a Light Switch

Follow the steps below to wire your doorbell system to a light switch.

Step 1: Locate the Transformer

locating the transformer

You need to find the doorbell transformer to wire it correctly. It is easy to locate the transformer because it will be sticking out from one side of the electrical box.

Alternatively, you can install a 16-volt transformer for your doorbell as follows:

  • Turn off the power
  • Remove the electrical box cover followed by the old transformer
  • Pop-out one side of the knockout and mount the 16 volts transformer
  • Wire the black wire from the transformer to the black wire in the box
  • Wire the white wire from the transformer to the white wire in the electrical box

Step 2: Wire the Doorbell to a Transformer

wire-the-doorbell-to-a-transformer

Strip about one inch of the insulation cover from the doorbell wires with a wire stripper. Then, attach them to the front screws on the 16 volts transformer. (2)

On the Doorbell

hot wire

The live or hot wire is the lead cable from the button and the lead wire from the chime is the neutral wire.

So, attach the hot wire to the red screw on the transformer and the neutral wire to any other screw on the transformer.

Use a screwdriver to secure the wires firmly on the screw. You can then restore the cover frame or plate on the junction box and flip the power back on.

Step 3: Wiring the Doorbell to a Light Switch

light switch diagram

Now, remove the light switch box and install a larger 2-gang box.

Next, split the electrical line such that one line goes to the switch and the other line to the doorbell kit that can be mounted on the wall switch.

Then, wire the switch to the ring as you now have the correct output voltage from the transformer.

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References
(1) electrical source – https://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/
electrical-energy-source-destination/
(2) insulation – https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/types-insulation

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.