How to Install 3-Way RF and Smart Devices for Switching
How are Master and Slave switches wired to Control Light Fixtures? Wiring RF Smart Switches and 3-Way Switches, Installing Three Way Switches and Smart Switches for Light Fixtures.
RF Smart Switches and 3-Way Switches
Electrical Question: How are Master and Slave switches wired for light fixtures?
- I’m installing two Master Slave 3-way switches to a pendant light.
- It is the exact situation as in your 3-way wiring guide marked Diagram #1.
- I have the hot wire connected to the brass screw on the first switch, the red and black wires as travelers to the second switch, the white wire from switch #2’s brass screw back to the hot wire going to the light.
- The common wire that came in with the hot wire is is wire nutted to the common wire going to the light. I have followed your diagram to the letter.
- When I put my tester on to check the voltage I get a 120 reading when the switch is on at the light but I get a 44 reading at the light when the switch is off.
- It works the same way even if I switch the travelers.
- I thought the voltage at the light should be at or near zero when the power to the light is switched off?
- Can you help me understand this and how I can correct it?
This electrical wiring question came from: Tim in Ohio.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Tim.
Wiring RF Smart Switches and 3-Way Switches
Application: Installing Wireless RF Switches and 3Way Switches.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
The Differences Between RF Smart and 3-Way Switches
Conventional 3-way switches are hardwired using wiring configurations which switches power through a series of wires and contacts within a pair of switches. The following explains the difference between wiring Three Way Switches and Smart Switches for controlling Light Fixtures.
- RF switches make use of electronic components which create RF or Radio Frequencies that may be sent through electrical circuit wiring or may be transmitted with the environment using wireless technologies.
- Depending on the make and model type of these switch systems your may be required to purchase Master and Slave units that are designed to work together.
- Specific wiring configurations may be necessary to for the system to be totally compatible and for the design to work for a specific application.
- Smart switches are switches that are addressable and programmable which can then produce any desired controls and effects including lighting levels, time scheduled ON and OFF events, or triggered events when an intruder has been detected, to name just a few. Most Smart Switches require a neutral wire.
More about Wiring Light Switches
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Understanding Electrical Testers
When working on home electrical wiring using voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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.
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