wiring of two lights for 1 switch

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-10-01, 03:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question

I'm a novice electrician. Outlets are no problem, but switchs, yech. I want the basic, start from scratch info on how to wire two lights to work from one switch. The books I have don't seem to have a decent explanation or photo.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-10-01, 04:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well, I can provide you no photo, and I cannot imagine that my explanation will be better than a book. But I'll try anyway.

To understand this, you must first know whether the power cable comes first to the switch box, or first to the light box. The wiring directions are completely different for these two conditions. Most books only cover the former, which is why so many people screw up the latter.

So if you're really starting from scratch (i.e., you don't have a light yet, you don't have a switch yet, you don't even have any wire yet), the proceed as follows:[list=1][*]Run a cable to the switch box from some source of known continuous power (how you find such a source is a subject for another day). If the circuit is protected by a 20-amp breaker, run 12/2 NM-B cable. If the circuit is protected by a 15-amp breaker, run 14/2 NM-B cable.[*]Run a second cable (same kind as in step 1) from the switch box to the box to hold the first light.[*]Run a third cable from the first light box to the second light box.[*]At the switch box, connect the two black wires to the brass screws on the 2-way single-pole switch. Then connect the two white wires together with a wire nut.[*]At each light box, connect all wires by matching colors.[*]At every box, connect all bare wires to each other and to any green grounding screws or fixture grounding wires.[*]Be sure to follow the dozens of other electrical codes that apply (e.g., codes for protecting the cable, codes for securing the cable, codes for stripping the cable, codes for stripping the wire, codes for the use of wire nuts, codes for the length of wire in each box, etc.)[/list=1]

If you are starting from some place that doesn't match my definition of "scratch" above, then you'll have to tell us your starting point for us to help you.
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-01, 02:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 186
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Take a look here:

http://homewiring.tripod.com/
 
  #4  
Old 10-11-01, 03:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Icabod.

I am starting from scratch. The way you described it is the first way I did it and only the first light would work. One book I looked at said something about connecting the white (labeled black) to the switch and after that I was totally confused. I'm working with stud walls and an accessible attic, so access isn't a problem. The wires are run (12 with a 20 amp breaker), I just need to find the right connections to make both lights work.
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-01, 03:23 PM
Wgoodrich
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
We don't have a simple single pole switch diagram yet. We are drawing one now after you asked for it. Try the following link showing two single pole switches. This is the same as John was discribing only you need to drop out the second switch and connect the white wire with a black tape on it to identify it as hot to the top screw of the first switch. May be confusing but may help you see what John is trying to explain. Just hold you hand over the right switch marked second switch. You won't be using it and imagine the white wire connecting to the top of the left switch. That is what John is trying to picture for you. Sorry about not having a simple single pole switch at this time for you to look at. Notice the power coming in as John explained from the bottom right and the white from power going directly to the light fixture. Then the black taped white running the power from the black power wire to the top screw of the switch and the black running from the bottom screw to the light fixture.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #6  
Old 10-15-01, 07:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I went to the electrical web page and it really didn't explain what I wanted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the black from the power goes to the switch. If the white from the first light is connected to the white of the power and the black from the light connected to the switch and the 2nd light (black to black and white to white) connected to the 1st light, I don't understand why this didn't work? It can't be that difficult. I didn't have this much trouble wiring the 3way switches.
 
  #7  
Old 10-15-01, 12:17 PM
Wgoodrich
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
We provided a simple single pole switch controlling a light fixture wiring drawing at the following link. Hope it helps

http://homewiring.tripod.com/basiclightswitch.html

Good Luck

Wg
 
  #8  
Old 10-21-01, 11:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks

I wired it again the first way described and it worked. I must have had a wire (or screw) loose. Thanks for all your help, glad you're here.
 
  #9  
Old 03-11-09, 07:51 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
HELP, I think I'm going crazy....

Can anyone tell me the proper way to wire two lights to one switch? I have tried what is posted here, and I just get a constant "on" condition. I have uploaded a diagram of my configuration here 2lightswitch.JPG - Windows Live

Thanks alot for any help,

Mark

Beer 4U2
 
  #10  
Old 03-11-09, 08:49 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Mark, there are multiple ways to do it. The best way for you depends on your situation. The simplest way is to run your power to the switch box first, and then from the switch box to the first light and then from the first light to the second light. There are several other ways to do it.
 
  #11  
Old 03-11-09, 10:22 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question

John, I have tried to do what you suggest, and The switch is not controlling the light fixture, it is constantly on. Here is what I have tried:


at the switch box: black from power in and black from switch to light box. the neutral wires connected with wire nut.

at the light box: connect like colors from switch, both light fixtures, and outlet.
What am I doing wrong?
 
  #12  
Old 03-11-09, 12:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC.
Posts: 47
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
wiring of two lights for 1 switch

mark_m66

The way you have your drawing now it looks like the “outlet “ will be also controlled
by the switch --- Is that what you want to do??
Let us know.

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
  #13  
Old 03-11-09, 12:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I would rather not have the switch control the outlet. The house I purchased was in the process of a remodel, and this is the config I inherited. Just trying to make it work.
 
  #14  
Old 03-11-09, 04:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC.
Posts: 47
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
wiring of two lights for 1 switch

Hello mark_m66

As John Nelson said there are a few ways you can wire this.
Here is one way to do it
Hope this helps --- Let us know how you made out

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/?action=view&current=1SwitchForTwoLights---OutletAlwaysH.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/1SwitchForTwoLights---OutletAlwaysH.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
  #15  
Old 03-12-09, 06:41 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the diagram, I was afraid I would have to rewire w/ a three wire cable... as with almost everything with this house, I suspect there was a crack pipe involved!!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: