Guitar Killswitch Installation - Iron Age Guitar Accessories

IMPORTANT: Do NOT connect a 9v battery to the guitar kill switch without first installing the provided inline-resistor onto the LED+ wire.
Applying power to the LED without the resistor in place will instantly fry the LED.

Thank you for choosing Iron Age killswitches!

Below we will go into several installation methods for our various switch models.

These are basic configurations although if you have more advanced knowledge of electronics, you can probably figure out other ways to install these switches to custom fit your needs.

If you have all the necessary tools to perform this operation, this can take as little as 30 minutes.

Basic knowledge of electronics or guitar wiring is recommended but we also have some videos below to help guide you through the process.

Recommended tools:

  • 16mm Forstner drill bit
  • Drill press or handheld drill 
  • Soldering iron (or solderless splices)
  • Metal rasp file

The mini switches do not require drilling & if you're installing one of our full-sized switches in place of a tone pot/knob, you can use a rasp file to enlarge the potentiometer hole if you don't wish to use a drill.

For frequently asked questions out our guitar kill switches, please see our >Killswitch F.A.Q. Page<

>More guitar kill switch frequently asked questions<

If you have any issues or questions not answered there,
or if you need some clarification on any of the installation steps, feel free to >Contact Us Here<

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Table of Contents

  • Wire layout for LED switches
  • Installation for mono output jack guitars (LED switches)
  • Installation for stereo output jack guitars (LED switches)
  • Mini LED switch installation
  • Non-LED model installation
  • Additional Killswitch Information


Wire Layout For LED Kill Switches

All of our 16mm regular sized switches have this wiring layout on the backside of the switch except our mini switches.

The mini-switches have the exception of not having polarity on the LED wires but have the wires in the same spot & connect to your guitar in the same manner.

For mini-switches, just select one of the white or colored wires to be the LED+ wire and attach the resistor to that wire.

All LED switches have 2 wires for the light & 2 wires for the killswitch itself.
These 2 circuits work independently and so they don't interact directly with each other.

The way we sort the wires on our switches is that the black pair of wires are for the killswitch, and the white or colored pair of wires are for the LED.

Our 16mm switches also have an LED color indicator dot on the backside.

This dot will be painted with the actual color that the LED is supposed to be and helps to identify the right switch in the case that the wires don't match the LED color.

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Kill Switch Installation For Mono Jack Guitars

Using a mono jack will require the use of an extra on/off switch or the LED will remain on at all times.

We have some rocker switches available in our installation kits however you can choose to use any other on/off switch like a traditional selector.

The benefit of using this configuration though, is that you can conserve battery power and only turn on the LED when you really want to.

The LED & killswitch operate separately so the switch will still work even if you decide to leave the LED power off.

If you would prefer to have the LED turn on automatically any time the guitar is plugged in, you will require a stereo jack for this.

Also you might need a power source since most electric guitars that are equipped with a stereo jack already have active components that have battery systems installed.

To power our LEDs you can use a 9v battery & the resistor we include with each switch. Sometimes we include an extra resistor but you only need one.

Alternatively a pair of CR2032 button cell batteries an be used & these are slimmer and don't require the use of a resistor.

Both battery sources provide about the same amount of longevity.

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[Click diagrams to expand in a new tab]

Above is the diagram to use for this mono jack configuration and below you can find two instructional videos that show the process.


The first video is our own from several years ago using some blue resistors which we no longer use, now it only requires a single grey resistor.

The 2nd video was produced by our friend Mark from Guitar Guts. Mark does many guitar mods & custom guitar paint jobs.

You can  follow his YouTube channel or follow his Instagram page @GuitarGuts


Kill-Switch Installation For Stereo Jack Guitars

This configuration is most common for guitars that already have stereo jacks installed which is the case for most guitars that have active pickups or preamps.

If you already have a battery installed in your guitar, you can also use that same battery to power the LED in this switch.

With this configuration, the LED on the switch will automatically turn on when an instrument cable is plugged in.

If you would like to use this configuration but don't have the components, we do carry installation kits that include either a 9v or cr2032 power source & both a stereo jack & rocker switch so you can install the switch whatever way you like.

The battery can then be tucked away in the electronics cavity, no need to route a new compartment.

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[Click diagrams to expand in a new tab]

Above is the diagram for the stereo jack configuration & below you can find the instructional video that uses the same method.


This video was made by our friend Colin from CS Guitars in Scotland.
You can find more of his guitar content on YouTube at The Science Of Loud
or visit his website at CS Guitars 


How To Install Mini LED Kill Switches

To install our mini switches, you can use any of the two configurations outlined above.

The only difference between our Mini switches and the larger ones is that there's no room on the back of the switch to mark & identify the LED+ & LED- wires.

However, the black wires are still meant to be the kill switch wires, and the white or colored wires are for the LED.

You can select any of the colored/white wires to be your LED+ wire and simply attach the resistor to it, naturally making the remaining wire the LED-

Mini switches can also use a 9v battery power as long as a resistor is attached to the LED+

Or a pair of CR2032 batteries can be used to power the LED without requiring a resistor.

Finally, the LED wires can also be left unplugged if you don't like the LED aesthetic. The switch will still function.
mini guitar kill switch

Installation For Non-LED Switches
(Both Mono & Stereo Jacks)

These non-LED switches are the easiest to install out of all of our switches and can be installed into a guitar with either stereo or a mono jack.

Installation can take as little as 15 minutes and only needs the connection of two wires.

Also please note that if your switch is working in reverse, there's no need to panic!

All of our switches are made to be wired in the manner below & if you install them any other way, they will work in revers meaning the sound will only pass through while the push button is being pressed down. Please adhere to the instructions below:

Guitar Momentary Guitar Kill Switch
[Click diagrams to expand in a new tab]

The wires for these switches are also reversible so there's actually no need for polarity.

One of them simply attaches to the "sleeve" at the jack and the other attaches to the "tip".

An alternate configuration is to install the switch onto a volume pot using the back of the potentiometer as the grounding point and the respective lead that goes to the pickups as the "positive".

Below are a couple of videos that go through the simple process of installing these non LED guitar killswitches. The first video is presented by Charles Caswell of Berried Alive, who we've made a limited edition signature kill switch for in the past.
You can check out his band >Berried Alive here<

And the 2nd video is featuring Derek from Big D Guitars.
You can find his YouTube channel at BigDGuitars

Other Guitar Kill Switch Video Content

This video features a custom made Les Paul put together by Guns & Guitars on YouTube.

It's a really cool walk through of the customization process & also features an Iron Age LED killswitch. Check it out!

This next video shows our friend Nick Olivera here demonstrating what a new kill switch can do.

The song being played is also by Berried Alive (Grape Digger). Great playing, give him a follow if you like it too!

This next video features features one of our customers & how they got through the installation process.

Here's another guitar kill switch demonstration & review by Bruno Freitas, check it out!


[Installation Guide Last Updated 04/15/2023, © Iron Age Guitar Accessories. Est 2015.]

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