New light in stairwell.

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  #1  
Old 10-02-15, 11:09 AM
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New light in stairwell.

130 year old house converted into a duplex. There are some things I simply cannot access easily.

I need to install a light in my stairwell. If I cannot do as described below, I will just have to hard wire it in with a motion detector. I would prefer not to, though.

Presently, I have a downstairs light that is connected to threeway switches. From early inspection, it appears that they are connected like this;
[ATTACH=CONFIG]56827[/ATTACH]

I can certainly access the top left wire coming from the breaker box.
I believe I can access the lower wire between the two switches.
I cannot easily access the top right wire from the switch to the light. (I can access the terminals at the light, but I cannot get into that wall to run a new cable either from that light or the switch to the desired location)

As an aside, that second switch seems to be wired with the red wire on the common terminal and both blacks on the travelers. At any rate, the light works as it should.

Is it possible to wire a new light between the switches (along lower wire) as in this picture?
[ATTACH=CONFIG]56828[/ATTACH]
Or would those signals not be the same? My gut says that it wouldn't work correctly, but I haven't taken the time to wrap my head around it.

Should I keep looking at this, or do I need to simply install a motion detector?

Thank you,

EDIT:
To clarify;

The original picture, how it is set up now, MUST STAY. I need that light to still be on those switches.

The question is if I can add a light between the switches, as in the second photo, so that both lights are on and off at the same time
 
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Last edited by Michael Rivers; 10-02-15 at 11:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-15, 11:27 AM
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It will work as you have drawn it. I would swap the white and black wires going to switch 2 so the travelers are the same color throughout. You will need to mark the white wire to sw 2 on both ends in any case to mark it as a hot wire. You can mark it with black or red tape.

Edit: Forgot to add that if you are abandoning the wire to the old light you should wire-nut all the conductors together at each end so it is clear it is abandoned.
 
  #3  
Old 10-02-15, 11:33 AM
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To clarify;

The original picture, how it is set up now, MUST STAY. I need that light to still be on those switches.

The question is if I can add a light between the switches, as in the second photo, so that both lights are on and off at the same time
 
  #4  
Old 10-02-15, 03:16 PM
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Sorry, misunderstood. No, you can't add another light in the middle of the traveler cable and have it work right. If you wire it between the red and the white, or the black and the white, the light will go on and off depending on position of switch 1 but switch two will have no effect. You would need access to the light box or sw 2 box, which you say you don't have, so you are out of luck.

There are some wireless slave light systems out there (wireless remote control) that might be made to work, you may want to look at those as an alternative to motion sensing.
 
  #5  
Old 10-02-15, 03:31 PM
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Two other options: you could use surface raceway (wiremold) from either sw 2 or the light to the new light. If painted to match the wall it can look OK. Not great but OK. Option two would be if there is base molding you can remove and run wiring behind it. I'm sure you have plaster and not drywall, so that might be tricky to do.
 
  #6  
Old 10-02-15, 08:34 PM
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Since your current setup must stay you can only connect the second light at one of the pink arrow locations.

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  #7  
Old 10-05-15, 06:41 AM
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Thank you all for confirming what I suspected.

It took a lot more effort and cost, but I was finally able to install a new light with motion sensor. I'm not as pleased with it as I would have have beet connected to the switches, but it is functional.
 
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