One switch = two lights

Old 08-01-00, 11:06 AM
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I'm remodeling the basement in my 1958 home. The problem is, there is one light switch at the bottom of the stairs that control the lights in both the family room and another room (which is now a bedroom).

How can I fix it such that I can hook up the bedroom light to a NEW switch?

Let me know if I'm missing some pertinent information. Thanks.
Old 08-01-00, 11:37 AM
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There are so many situations and so many options here. I'll give you one option for one situation.

If you're remodeling, I assume that you can get to all the wiring. Right now the wiring is probably (but maybe not):

Power -> Switch -> Light#1 -> Light #2

Verify this by following the wires, or by measuring voltage across the various black and white wires inside the switch box (turn off power, pull out the switch, disconnect the wires, turn power on, measure voltage, turn power off, reassemble, turn power on).

If this is the case, you can tap off the power to the first switch to wire a second switch. Remove the existing wiring between the two lights. Then you'd have:

Power -> Switch#1 -> Light#1
Power -> Switch#2 -> Light#2

You can actually buy a double switch so that you can put both these switches in the existing box if you want.

If this is not the case, then you'll have to come up with another solution. If you can't figure it out, tell us where the wiring comes from and goes to now, and where you want the switch.

Learn enough of the electrical code so that you can run the wiring according to code.

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