Need help wiring two lights to two switches

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Old 02-06-14, 03:48 PM
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Need help wiring two lights to two switches

Hey guys, I've heard this is the place to come for help with something like this, so I am with a question that hopefully you can help me out with.

I'm trying to wire two switches to two different lights, but I can't figure out how it's supposed to look on paper. I found a diagram that's what I'm looking for, but I want to come in from the power source to the first light, rather than the first switch.

On a related note, is there any sort of program I can use to figure this stuff out myself? Most of the programs I've found are considerably more complicated than what I need, as I'm only looking for basic wiring; lights, receptacles, that sort of thing, like showing something as basic as connecting a receptacle to a switch and what wires go where.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 02-06-14, 04:08 PM
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There are different ways to wire in your lights. I am assuming the switches are in different locations? (not in a 2 gang box) If so, here is an example of how to bring power to the first light (your diagram has it coming into the first switch box) and keep your switch boxes tidy.
This is called a "switch loop". You bring power in to the switch box via your white (which is the only time you are allowed to bring power in on a white) and then back up to the light on the black. I think I read somewhere that the NEC requires you to recolor the white to black (yankees please chime in).
 
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Old 02-06-14, 04:24 PM
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Under 2011 and later NEC you must have a neutral in each switch box when cable is used. even if not needed. So instead of the 2-conductor cable shown by Mr. Awesome you would use 3-conductor cable. White would be connected to the neutral at the light and capped at the switch. Black would carry power to the switch and red would carry it back. Your local code may not yet require it but with more and more switches having extra functions that require a neutral it is good future proofing to do it that way.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 04:42 PM
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Ah ha! Now I see it.

I'm somewhat familiar with what a switch loop is, but I continue to be confused as to how it all looks. Once you see it all in front of you, it makes a whole lot more sense, doesn't it?

I appreciate the help, gents.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 05:13 PM
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Does this help?

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