Controlling Ceiling Lights from Two Locations

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  #1  
Old 05-31-07, 11:51 AM
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Controlling Ceiling Lights from Two Locations

I'm a novice when it comes to electrical wiring, so please excuse my ignorance. I'm wiring a new family room. I've installed 12 recessed ceiling fixtures in a new family room addition. I want to be able to control the six lights on one side of the room separately from the six on the other side, and do both from two different locations. So far, I've wired the six lights on one side together, and the six on the other side together, both with 14/2 Romex. I have not connected one set to the other, nor have I run any cable to where the switches will be.

There are two open entrances to the family room from the living room. I want to be able to control each set of six lights from both entrances. I know I can run power to a 3-way switch at entrance 1, then to the lights, and then terminate the curcuit there. Then I can run 14/3 from the switch at entrance 1 to another 3-way switch at entrance 2, and I'd be able to turn the six lights on one side off and on from either. I'd repeat the same steps for the other set of six lights.

But that would take up two circuits, and I'd like to put all 12 lights on one circuit. How do I do that? The Black & Decker Complete Guide to Home Wiring book I have had a misprint I didn't notice until I had wired the fixtures. It shows the cable running between the light fixtures as 14/2, but a closer look shows that it's actually 14/3 mislabeled as 14/2. I really don't want to re-run new cable. Is it possible to do what I want to do with the existing 14/2 cable between the light fixtures?

Thanks for your help!

John
 
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  #2  
Old 05-31-07, 12:01 PM
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All you need is 14-2 between the lights. Are you perhaps mistaking 14-2 with ground for 14-3?

Anyway, run power into the first switch box on 14-2. Run 14-2 to one of the lights from set 1. Run 14-2 to one of the lights for set 2. Run two sets of 14-3 to the second switch box.

Connect appropriately.

Before asking how to connect the wires at the boxes, please draw yourself a picture and at least make an attempt at figuring this out.


Note that a better solution would be to run the wires to the lights from the second witch box instead of the first, but either method will work. The wiring is somewhat different for each layout, but easier to understand in the second case.
 
  #3  
Old 05-31-07, 04:07 PM
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There are two open entrances to the family room from the living room. I want to be able to control each set of six lights from both entrances. I know I can run power to a 3-way switch at entrance 1, then to the lights, and then terminate the curcuit there. Then I can run 14/3 from the switch at entrance 1 to another 3-way switch at entrance 2, and I'd be able to turn the six lights on one side off and on from either. I'd repeat the same steps for the other set of six lights.
Use the same power feed for both sets of lights. That only uses one circuit.
 
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Old 06-01-07, 08:18 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies, guys. It's starting to make sense now, but I'm not quite there yet.

Bob, when you say that it would be better to run the wires to the lights from the second box, do you mean like this (sorry for using a diagram from another site):

http://www.the-home-improvement-web.com/information/images/wiring5l.jpg

I'll have four switches total, two in each box. Switch 1 in box 1 and Switch 1 in box 2 would control light set 1. Switch 2 in box 1 and Switch 2 in box 2 would control light set 2.

So I run power to switch 1 in box 1 via 14/2, from switch 1 in box1 to switch 1 in box 2 via 14/3, and then from switch 1 in box 2 to a light in set 1 via 14/2.

What I'm not sure about is how I'm getting power to the other set of lights. Do I simply connect a light in set 1 to a light in set 2, then from set 2 to switch 2 in box 2 via 14/2, and from switch 2 in box 2 to switch 2 in box 1 via 14/3?

Sorry for being so dense, but I want to be sure I do this right.

John
 
  #5  
Old 06-01-07, 08:42 AM
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That diagram is exactly what I mean.

If you follow the diagram you found:

Take the power feed at the first junction box and split it. Connect the white wire to both white wires of the 14-3 cables. Connect the black wire to the common terminal of both switches.
 
  #6  
Old 06-01-07, 01:12 PM
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Thanks, Bob. I think I have it now.

John
 
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