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Converting 3-way light to 2-way light; also auto-on cabinet light

Converting 3-way light to 2-way light; also auto-on cabinet light

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  #1  
Old 11-09-15, 07:36 AM
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Converting 3-way light to 2-way light; also auto-on cabinet light

Two separate questions here....

1) I have an existing 3-way light that I need to convert to a 2-way light. One of the existing 3-way switches is in a wall that is being removed, so I want to convert the other existing 3-way switch into a 2-way switch. Does the process basically involve testing at the two switches and at the light to see where power is coming in (hopefully not at the switch that is going away!) and then re-configuring how the wires are connected to the remaining switch and the light?

2) My wife asked me the other day if I could put a light in the top of our pantry that would automatically turn on when the doors are opened. The pantry is a stand-alone cabinet-style unit that will be attached to the wall. I'm not really sure where to start with this one. I'm not ready to do the work yet, but would like to start planning it out ahead of time. I'm not sure what type of electrical box to use - can I have one sitting on top of the pantry? It's a tall pantry so I don't think a box would be visible on top...not sure though. How do I get power to it? I know I can't just have a cable coming out through a hole in the wall. What about the auto-on feature? Some type of sensor on the door frame that detects when it's been opened?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-09-15, 08:53 AM
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A 2-way light is what they call a 3-way light in Great Britain. It has no meaning in North America.
Does the process basically involve testing at the two switches and at the light to see where power is coming in
Yes.
and then re-configuring how the wires are connected to the remaining switch and the light?
Yes. Best would be if this is a dead end configuration with only a 3-conductor wire at the switch to be removed.
My wife asked me the other day if I could put a light in the top of our pantry that would automatically turn on when the doors are opened. The pantry is a stand-alone cabinet-style unit that will be attached to the wall.
Best might be to use a low voltage LED light. That way almost no code to meet for wiring switch and light.
 
  #3  
Old 11-09-15, 09:06 AM
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1) You are on the right track; you'll find the power soucre in one of the switches or in the light fixture. If it's in a switch, I hope it's the right one.
2) Were it me, I'd use a battery powered motion sensing light. That's what I did, but it turns out I don't use it often.
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-15, 07:14 PM
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Okay, here's the current setup on the 3-way light being converted to a single pole switch.

The switch being removed has a single 3-conductor cable connected. Black runs to a red jumper, which runs to one dimmer terminal. White runs to a black jumper, which runs to the same dimmer terminal. Red runs to a red jumper, which runs to the other dimmer terminal. The terminals are not labeled.

The other switch has a 2-conductor and a 3-conductor cable coming in. Black on the 2-conductor cable is hot. The two whites were connected together. The hot black was connected to common on the 3-way switch. Black and red in the 3-conductor cable were each connected to one of the non-common switch terminals.

How do I reconfigure this for single-pole? As far as I can tell the hot black comes from a receptacle that is in the same wall. The 3-conductor cable in the box runs to the light. The light is wired in between the two 3-way switches.
 
  #5  
Old 11-14-15, 07:39 PM
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I just opened up the light partially, and I have a white and a white-tagged-black connected to the light terminals. The white-tagged-black must be the white that is connected to the black jumper at the dimmer switch. So I think that means I need to get either the red or black from the remaining switch and connect that to the light and switch, and remove the white-tagged-black from the light.
 
  #6  
Old 11-14-15, 08:27 PM
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Remove the three way switch where you want to install a single pole switch. Connect the incoming hot wire to one terminal and the red of the three wire cable to the other terminal of the switch. Cap off the black wire. Leave the whites as they are.

Go up to the light.... there should be 2) three wire cables there. You know which one is incoming hot. Leave that white connected to the light. Connect the red wire to the black wire of the light. Cap off the black wire.

Make sure everything is working ok. Now cut the wires off to the abandoned three wire cable. Push the cable out of the box if you are able. Cut the cable off at the switch end.
 
  #7  
Old 11-14-15, 08:54 PM
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Thanks! I connected the red to the switch but then wasn't sure which red in the light box was it, so I used my multimeter to figure it out. Red is now connected to the light where the white-tagged-black used to be connected, and it's working correctly with the single pole switch. I had very limited access to the light box without taking the whole light down, and I don't want to mess with that until I'm ready to put the new light up, so I just capped the other red for now. When it's time to put the new light up I'll get the box cleaned up so it only contains what is now needed. I also capped the spare black in the switch box.
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-15, 08:55 PM
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Several members mentioned using a battery powered light for your curio cabinet. That would be the neatest and easiest way to accomplish that.

But if you want to go ahead with an permanent 120v solution I can work with you. You could use an RIB relay with a magnetic contact switch to activate the lights.

This would be the module you'd use.....
Enclosed-Relay-Class-Dry-Contact

A circuit setup diagram...
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A basic setup using a junction box. A smaller box can be used.......
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