How to connect 4 lights to two switches

Old 06-11-02, 07:35 PM
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Question How to connect 4 lights to two switches

I'm doing some minor wiring in the basement of my new home. The existing circuit consists of one light with no switch (aside from a chain on the fixture itself). I would like to run 2 pairs of lights from this one feed with a switch for each pair. I've been trying to plan out the circuit but I'm wondering if it's ok to run a three conductor cable between lights. (Without actually drawing the circuit it would be hard for me to explain.)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Old 06-11-02, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
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There are a number of ways to do this right, and a number of ways to do it wrong. Some of each kind use 3-wire cable between the lights.

To minimize the chances of problems, I'd recommend running the power to switch#1 and then on to switch#2. Then you can run other cables from each switch to the first light controlled by that switch. Then you can run a cable from the first light controlled by that switch to the second light controlled by the same switch. This does not use any 3-wire cable, and has the least number of things that can go wrong.

However, you have lots of choices. To avoid the worst mistakes, just make sure you don't wire any lights in series, and make sure you can trace the neutral wire from each light all the way back to the panel without needing to go through the filiment of any bulb, and not connected to any switch.

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