Question about switch loop wiring

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  #1  
Old 05-08-15, 08:23 PM
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Question about switch loop wiring

I am trying to add a security light on my garage controlled by a switch. Right now there is power coming into a junction box where the current light is located, and then a light switch by the door. I would like to have the ceiling light, and the security light controlled by separate switches. I am not sure if this is the easiest option though. I thought it might be easier to have both lights on one light switch. I was having trouble completing the wiring. Right now it is like this...

Junction Box (Ceiling Light) -> Light switch -> Then I took the black lead and wired the other switch and ran a wire to the security light. This obviously didn't work. Would it be possible to wire it like this...

Junction Box (Ceiling light) -> Security Light -> Light switch to control both lights with one switch. Would this be the proper route?
 
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Old 05-08-15, 08:40 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by security light. Is that on a motion detector?
 
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Old 05-08-15, 08:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You have power at the ceiling light and a two wire switch loop. That means there is no neutral at the switch box. The easiest way to remedy the situation is to replace the two wire cable with a three wire cable. Then you can add the second switch and outside light.

This is what you have now....

Name:  switchloop.jpg
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Old 05-08-15, 08:43 PM
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Junction Box (Ceiling Light) -> Light switch -> Then I took the black lead and wired the other switch and ran a wire to the security light. This obviously didn't work. Would it be possible to wire it like this...
Yes if you use 3-conductor cable. White caries neutral to the switch box. Black carries constant power. Red carries switched power back to the light.

The white of the second light 2-conductor cable goes to the neutral. Black of the 3-conductor (constant power) goes to both switches. Black of the 2-conductor cable goes to the second switch.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-08-15 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 05-08-15, 08:54 PM
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To go along with my partners description....

Name:  switchloop - Copy.jpg
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Old 05-08-15, 09:05 PM
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Ah okay, that makes perfect sense! I said security light, but it is just a fixture with two halogen bulbs and no motion detector. Excellent, tomorrow I can grab the 14/3 and correct the wiring. I'm glad because I really wanted two switches for both lights. Thanks for the help!
 
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