Due to the amount of safety that a GFCI outlet can provide, it is quite normal for users to wish to integrate this into a light switch. But, can a GFCI outlet be connected to a light switch?

Yes, of course. The working principle of a GFCI outlet is pretty similar to that of a circuit breaker. Hence, it can easily be used as a breaker for a light switch, in order to protect the light bulb from ground faults.

This article will walk you through the necessary steps needed to utilize a GFCI outlet and connect it to a light switch for better protection.

How To Wire a Light Switch To A GFCI Outlet?

What Is the Purpose of A GFCI Outlet?

The main purpose is to protect the device from any kind of short circuit or fault currents. A GFCI outlet protects electrical outlets or devices connected to it.

The GFCI instantly trips off the circuit as soon as it detects any fault or leakage current.

The Outcome of Using GFCI Outlets

When the GFCI serves its purpose properly, the chances of short circuits or electrical shocks reduce to a huge extent.

The circuits will be more reliable for the users to use in any situation, especially in a wet or risky environment where there are chances of short circuits.

Where It Is Mostly Used?

Since it provides instant protection against short circuits and fault currents, GFCI outlets are best at using in wet or moist places, like- the washroom, toilet, kitchen, etc.

In any place where there is a chance of electric shocks or risks of short circuits, GFCI is the perfect place for that.

So, you can already see that there is a difference between GFCI and regular outlets. You are going to learn more about these in this article.

Can A GFCI Outlet Be Connected to A Light Switch?

Yes, a GFCI outlet can be connected to a light switch. It is very simple. Just connect the light switch in between the output wires of the GFCI outlet which goes to the light. Connect the light switch to the hot wire of the GFCI output.

How to Wire a Light Switch to A GFCI Outlet?

You have to connect the light switch between the output line terminal of the GFCI and the light. By doing so, you will be able to use the light as usual but under the supervision of the GFCI.

So, whenever there is a short circuit or any current leakage in this portion, the circuit will be tripped to save the devices.

A circuit diagram will help you to understand it easily. So, I have drawn one for you here:

Circuit Diagram of connecting a GFCI to light switch
Fig 01: Circuit Diagram of connecting a GFCI to light switch

Here you can see that there are different input and output terminals in a GFCI.

You have to connect the input terminals to the line, neutral, and ground of the main power supply. The output terminals of the GFCI will be connected to the light and switch.

Wiring A Light Switch Off A GFCI Outlet

  • Connect the line, neutral, and ground of the main power supply to the line in, neutral in, and the ground terminal of the GFCI as shown in figure 01.
  • Connect the Line Out of the GFCI to one of the terminals of the light switch.
  • Connect the other terminal of the switch to the positive terminal of the bulb as shown in the figure.
  • Connect the negative terminal of the bulb to the Neutral Out of the GFCI to complete the connection.
  • One thing you should know is that the ground terminal is common for both input and output. That is connecting one slot is enough.

You can connect the GFCI in many ways. If you are trying to connect GFCI to another one or a device, you should learn how to connect GFCI in series. The Figure (Fig 1) actually kind of resembles such a work.

Additional Queries Regarding the Wiring of a GFCI Outlet

As there are several ways in which you can connect a GFCI switch and integrate it into a circuit, it is normal for some confusion to arise. Let’s address some of these issues below.

If you are trying to plug in multiple lights or devices instead of connecting directly like the way shown in the above figure (Fig 1), you have to learn how to connect multiple outlets to a GFCI. Then you will be able to plug in the devices in the outlets.

Wiring A GFCI and Lights Are On the Same Circuit?

Well of course. As you can see in the figure, the GFCI and lights are already on the same circuit. So it is very much possible to connect a GFCI to light or any electrical device.

Can You Wire a Switch After A GFCI Outlet?

Yes, you can wire a switch after a GFCI outlet. The switch should serve as a controlling device for an electrical item. Like here the switch is serving as a light bulb.


Now, if you wanted to know whether a GFCI outlet can be connected to a light switch or not, this article should’ve answered all of your queries. By following the instructions in this article you will be able to undertake the task yourself.

However, electrical operations are extremely delicate and small mistakes can easily lead to hazardous situations. Therefore, make sure to wear the necessary safety equipment before working with electricity.

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