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3Way Switch Review
By Dave Rongey
Summary:This discussion of 3 Way Switches will review the most common types and styles of three way switches used for switching light fixtures.
The Most Common Types and Styles of Three Way Light Switches
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.
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
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.