Unless you live in new construction or a house that was built in the past decade, chances are you have unsightly beige wall plates. You may wonder how to update light switches and outlets to something more contemporary. Those beige plates always look kind of dirty and they definitely date a house. Here are a few tips to change things up:

  1. Once you have turned off all your electricity from the fuse box, take your insulated screwdriver and unscrew the old switch plate away from the wall. Your basic light socket has 3 wires – brown, blue, and yellow/green.
  2. Your BROWN wire is your power into the switch plate. Your BLUE wire is your power out of the switch plate. Your GREEN/YELLOW wire is your ‘earth’ wire, which acts as a safety wire stopping electric shocks. Some of your wires may have extra casing on them. Double, then triple check you are 100% sure you know what is your brown/blue/green & yellow wire. Then, using your electrical tester screwdriver as per the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the screwdriver to a screw holding a wire in place. No electricity present? Use your insulated screwdriver to gently unscrew one at a time all screws holding the three wires in place. Remove your old switch plate.
  3. One wire at a time, gently insert the exposed wire end into each hole as far as it will go, then tighten the screw down with your insulated screwdriver until it’s firmly keeping the exposed wire ends in place. If any of your wire ends break, or the cable insulation needs cutting back, use a pair of wire cutters for the job. Just place the cutters over the plastic covering the wire, then skim off the tip of the plastic to expose more of the electrical wire.
  4. Once complete, lightly screw your plate back into the wall using the fixtures and fittings supplied. Don’t screw back fully yet as you need to check your new light plate works. Turn on your electricity, test the switch, if all works well turn off the electricity again and screw your pate back into the wall securely.
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