How Can I Light Up a Dark Hallway at Night for my Child?
Ashley in Kansas asks: I have a 6 year old who is terrified to walk down the dark hallway at night to get to the bathroom. I wanted to switch out the 3-way switch for a 3-way dimmer switch so I can leave the light on but dimmed so the whole hallway is illuminated.
Light Up a Dark Hallway
Electrical Question: I wanted to switch out the switch for a dimmer switch so I can leave the light on but dimmed so the whole hallway is illuminated.
I have a 6 year old who is terrified to walk down the dark hallway at night to get to the bathroom, and I’m going broke on batteries for flashlights and nightlight that are always left on. I wanted to switch out the 3-way switch for a 3-way dimmer switch so I can just leave the light on but dimmed so the whole hallway is illuminated.
Problem is, I THOUGHT I was paying really close attention when I disconnected the old switch, but when I hooked up the new switch in what I thought was the same way, it doesn’t work. The fixtures don’t come on at all, it’s like they have no power. Everything else on that breaker comes back on.
I noticed in your post you said one black (post) wire and two red (runner) wires. I have two blacks and a red. I was hooking the red wire up to the copper screw and the black wires up to the brass screws. Is there any chance that the blacks are my runners and the red is my post? How could I find out if this is the case?
In frustration (and just wanting to have the light switch work again) I put the old switch back in, and now the lights work weird. The other switch (which I have not tampered with) only works when the switch I worked on is in the ON position. It wasn’t like that before. Both switches worked independently of one another. I’m now convinced I have the wiring wrong, but I have no idea how to fix it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
This electrical wiring question came from Ashley, a Homeowner in Salina, Kansas.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ashley.
How to Fix a Switch Problem and Light Up a Dark Hallway
Application: Problem with a Switch, Light Up a Dark Hallway.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the 3Way Switch, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the 3Way Switch should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Salina, Kansas. A permit and inspections may also be required.
See more about Home Wiring for Kansas
Fix Light Switch Wiring and Light Up the Hallway
This electrical wiring project is about a 3Way Switch problem and Lighting Up a Dark Hallway of an Old Home.
First, Lets Fix the Switch Problem
- Ashley, From what you have described, Yes – the wiring of your 3way switches could be different colors, and is not limited to the colors of wiring at other homes. Many homes and 3way switches are wired differently depending on how old the home is and who wired the home.
- Most Importantly, do not change the wiring of the other switch, just stay focused on the switch you have been working with, and the wires that were attached to the original switch.
- An experienced electrician would use a voltage tester to identify the wires, however you could keep changing the positions of the wires until you finally get the right configuration.
- If you have a wall outlet in the hallway, consider getting a night light that has a built in photo cell, so it goes on and off automatically, and get a LED night light which will save on your electric bill.
Next, Lets Light Up that Dark Hallway for Your Son
Ashley, Here is a nite light that may work well for you and your son:
LED Plug-In Night Light
Consider for example, that a LED Plug-In Night Light may work very well for lighting up your hallway to help your son during the night.
More about Wiring 3Way Switches and Dimmer Switches
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
3 Way Switch Diagram
The key to three way switch wiring depends on two main factors. These wiring diagrams help you identify the power feed and the switch leg leading to the light fixture.
3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagram
Fully explained 3 way dimmer switch wiring diagram will take the mystery out of wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Troubleshooting Electrical Problems
Home Electrical Troubleshooting and Repairs
Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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