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Electrical Wire and Cable

How To Wire Two Light Switches

How Can I Wire Two Light Switches to Control One Light Fixture? The Key to Wiring Light Switches, Three Way Switches and Four Way Switches.

Wiring Two Light Switches
Electrical Question: How Can I Wire Two Light Switches to Control One Light Fixture?

Stephanie, a Homeowner in California asks:

I have wired the lights as follows:

Many thanks.

Jeannette in Nevada asks:

Thank you!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical questions.

How to Fix Light Switch Wiring and Three Way Switches

Application: Electrical Wiring for 3-Way Light Switches.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor 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 lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing or modifying 3-way switch wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Materials: Make sure replacement 3-way light switches have the same amperage and voltage rating as the original three way light switch, and is the switch is fully compatible with the electrical circuit, the light fixture and the type of light bulbs being used.

The Key to Wiring Light Switches, Three Way Switches and Four Way Switches


More about How to Wire Light Switches

3 Way Switch Diagram

For more information about Light Switch Wiring
Basic Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch Wiring

Electrical Troubleshooting and Repairs

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

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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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “How To Wire Two Light Switches”
  1. David Miller says:

    My light switch is energized, found it with my tester. There are no visible bare wires in the box. What could cause this? I also changed the switch with a new one.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi David,
      If the switch box is metal then it is possible that it has become energized which could cause the switch to become energized. This is possible if the switch box is not grounded and a live wire is making contact with the metal box. The circuit should be shut off, and the box and enclosed wiring should be inspected carefully to discover any uninsulated portion of wire which may cause the problem. Once this has been discovered be sure to insulate the wire with electrical tape or make new wire splices as needed.

  2. Wayne Doran says:

    I have been trying to install a new ceiling pendant in my living room which is one light but there are 2 switches in my room. I have done everything correct I think. I located the live switch wire etc. but when I flick the switch on nothing happens. Please help as it is driving me round the bend.



    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Wayne,
      Make sure the power source has all of the circuit wiring required for your new pendant, and double check the wiring to the switch, then to the pendant. One step at a time checking the path of the electrical circuit.

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