I am trying to replace a motion-sensor that has a timer functionality to turn off the lights after 30 minutes. The motion sensor never worked when we moved into the house. I just want a simple single-pole switch.

I opened the box and see that the old timer-switch has three wires: 1. Red (Load) 2. Black (hot) 3. White (neutral)

I do have a green ground in the box that is open and not connected to anything.

The new switch has 3 screws - two brass and one green for ground.

What am I supposed to do? One of the brass will obviously be the black-hot wire. What happens to the red and white? Am I correct in assuming that neutral is not required for single-pole? That only red-load is connected to the brass screw? And that I don't connect the neutral coming from the wall?

old switch

new switch

3 Answers 3


Switches that do something more than just "switch", often require neutral - timers, sensors, smart switches, etc. Ordinary switches do not require neutral. You actually have the opposite of the usual problem - someone who needs neutral but doesn't have it because it was not always required to be available. So your problem is easy to fix!

  • Cap the neutral

This is the simplest solution. If you had only one neutral in the box then that would be the thing to do - cap it with a wire nut and a piece of electrical tape to keep it secure since wire nuts do not always hold well with a single wire.

  • Remove the neutral.

If your neutral, as is often the case and appears to be the case in your box, goes to a bunch of other neutrals on a wire nut, remove the neutral wire from the wire nut and replace the wire nut. Or better, put on a new, appropriately sized, wire nut, to hold all the other neutral wires together, as reusing old wire nuts is iffy at best.


To answer your questions, connect the black and red wires to the switch screws. Do not use the backstabs. Cap the white wire as it's not needed for a regular switch. Connect the ground wire to the green screw terminal on the switch since you have a nonmetal box. Enjoy the simple switch.


Please try the below Connect as below To device 1:Device red wire to be connected to red wire from the board. 2:Device black wire to be connected to black wire from the board. From device to light 1:White wire from the device have to be connected to the light 2:Black from SWITH BOARD to the second terminal of the bulb

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