How easy to change a switch?

I would like to change the traditional switches on my bedside lamps to the more modern 'rocker' style switch. Total novice - just wondered how easy it would be.
12:48 Thu 02nd Feb 2012
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Best Answer
Make sure that the wire you "break" with the switch is the Live and not the Neutral. If the latter, operating the switch will still extinguish the lamp but the bulb socket will still be live and if the bulb is removed a potential disaster looms if someone touches the live pin.
17:11 Thu 02nd Feb 2012 Go To Best Answer

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Without knowing exactly what you have at present it is hard to answer.
Question Author
Just the plastic switch holder with the bar that moves by pushing it one way or the other to switch on/off. I hope you can understand what I mean!
Is the rocker witch on the cable of the lamps or is the switch on your wall ?
Question Author
No LNM - I don't have the rocker switches (inline I believe they're called) I have the other side to side switch that sits under the lampshade. I want to know how easy it is to change to the rocker type.
Can you post a picture of what you have?
Question Author
Unfortunately not HK.
Question Author
Unless I can find a link on t'net - will try
Question Author
The fittings I have are like these
I may be wrong, Smartie, but I've never come across a rocker switch on a lampholder. Have you seen one somewhere?
Question Author
I have a lamp that has one of these on it - the cable runs through it if you know what I mean, and you don't have to grapple about under the shade!
You could set the lamp to always on and put a new switch on the cable ...
Easy job to fit an inline rocker in the cable, Smartie. (Similar to wiring a plug). Just leave the existing switch permanently on.

Question Author
AHA!!! That sounds like a plan Ellipsis - thank you! So, would I just cut the cable I have in a suitable place and wire it to this?
Be careful working with anything electrical.

Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light
Himself. It struck him dead: And serve him right!
It is the business of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.
Question Author
And same answer from Builder - both best answers!
If you already have an in-line slide switch in the lead and simple want to replace it with an in-line rocker one (which is my interpretation of your question) then that is fairly simple.

Remove the existing one noting which wire is connected where, connect up the new one in the same way. Turn on and see if it bangs loudly and blows the fuse. But to be honest I think you'd need to be trying to wire it incorrectly to get that result.

If in any doubt, ask someone with a little experience to show you how.
Question Author
Thanks OG, but I don't already have an inline anything. Problem solved in previous replies.
-- answer removed --
the task is a relatively easy one to someone with basic diy skills, but to a novice, even changing a plug can be quite a task, and this particular job is very similar to a plug change.....the new inline rocker switch will indicate the position of each wire and ensuring these wires are fitted tight is essential as said in other be honest if you are this much of a novice I would suggest either get an electrician or replace the lamps as mistakes ( even the simplest ones ) can be life threatening......always stay safe!!!!

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