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.© By: Dave Rongey
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.
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