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Adding New Lights to 3-Way Switches

Wiring Three Way Switches – When adding additional lighting to an existing three way switch configuration, the only place the additional lights may be wired to are at the existing light fixture or to the switch box where the existing light fixture is wired to.

How to Add Lights to a Three Way Switch

Electrical Question: I recently installed 4 three inch recessed halogen lights and I have them on a three-way switch my problem is that when i turn on the first three-way THE ONE WERE POWER INITIALLY COMES FROM all the lights come on but the other three-way does nothing.
I recently purchased your three-way booklet which was very helpful for a three-way I had in a stairway but for some reason I am not understanding whats up on multi-fixture three-ways

This electrical question came from: Jeff, a Electrician from Riverside , California.
See more about Home Wiring for California

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Jeff.

Wiring Three Way Switches
Jeff, when adding  additional lighting to an existing three way switch configuration, the only place the additional lights may be wired to are at the existing light fixture or to the switch box where the existing light fixture is wired to.
Additional lights cannot be wired to the last 3-way switch because there will not be a connection for the neutral wire.

The Following will assist you with Electrical Wiring for Light Fixtures and Switches

Recessed lighting
halo-sm
How To Install Recessed Lighting
This article is about recessed lighting for your home electrical improvements. Discover how recessed lighting can enhance the mood of any room in your home.

For more information about 3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram
In response to the requests for this information, I have developed a comprehensive,step-by-step guide designed to walk you through the identification and wiring of your 3-way switches.



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MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC: 3-Way Switches, Electrical Wiring

Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

Questions about Adding New Lights to 3-Way Switches


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  1. Claude says:

    I want to add a sconce light at the top of the stairs, about 2 feet beside the existing switch at the top of the stairs. The second switch is at the bottom of the stairs. The existing light fixture is at the bottom of the stairs, in the ceiling. A 14/3 wire goes from the switch at the bottom of the stairs, to the switch at the top of the stairs. A 14/2 wire goes from the bottom switch to the light fixture at the bottom of the stairs. If you wish, I can send a diagram of the wire connections of two switches and light fixture, so, you know which wire is attached to which screw on the switches and how the light fixture is connected.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Claude,
      If you wish to add a light fixture it is best to extend the wire from the existing light fixture, or connect the new fixture wiring at the switch box where the existing fixture is fed from. This way you will be sure not to interfere with the wiring that is dedicated for the 3-way switches at each end of the stairs.
      Enjoy your new light fixture,
      Dave

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