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3way Switch Review

wiring electrical switches
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Summary:This discussion of 3 Way Switches will review the most common types and styles of three way switches used for switching light fixtures.

Electrical Switch Wiring: The Most Common Types and Styles of Three Way Light Switches


Hi Dave,
I really like your website as it is very informative and user friendly. I did a search on 3-way switch wiring and yours was the first to come up.

It will be interesting to see what other information you may like to share with us beginning electrical folks about three way light switches.

Thanks,
John P.


Hi John,
Here are a few different types and styles of 3way light switches:
Brands and Technologies:
Conventional wired switches are made by brands such as Lutron, Leviton, Eagle. Home automation switching devices which provide 3 way and multiple switch operations include these aforementioned brands and X-10 home controls, Smart Home and several others.
Conventional style types include the standard toggle and rocker style switches which are available in several colors to match most any decor.


With new advances in technology we can now install a matched set of switches which only require a standard set of wires of a 2-wire with ground cable. Newer switches make use of the wire conductors to transmit special frequencies to compatible devices and provides for multiple switching locations and lighting level control.

Other switches require only a standard power source however they use wireless frequency technologies to enable communication to compatible devices to provide multiple switch functions for a variety of compatible lighting fixtures.
The new switch technologies may cost slightly higher than a pair of traditional 3 way switches, however these newer technologies may actually save money compared to opening up walls to install a conventional 3-wire cable between the two switch locations.
When retrofitting an existing home with a new pair of three way switches, the deciding cost factor usually includes how easy the access will be to install the electrical wiring or the labor charges for the installation.
With either method you select, the reality of installing your three way switches may be more affordable than ever before.

More Resources on this topic:
3-Way Switch Wiring Diagrams that should be very helpful,
and more about Home Automation Devices

Dave Rongey
Ask-The-Electrician

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