Adding a light to a 3 way circuit


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Old 02-29-16, 07:15 AM
W
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Question Adding a light to a 3 way circuit

I have a light at the top of my stairs that is controlled by a switch at the bottom as well as a switch at the top. I am attempting to add a light at the bottom of the stairs.
This is the wiring situation the best I can describe it. The power comes into the upstairs light with a 2 wire. One is attached to the light and the other runs thru the box. Then another 2 wire runs to the first switch at the top of the stairs. That is a 3 way switch which runs a 3 wire to the bottom 3 way switch.

I originally thought I would be able to take the black from the light and attach it to the common on the bottom switch then attack the white from the light to the wire that had been attached to the common. When i did this the top light would flicker and the bottom light was very dim. Also when I unscrewed the bulb in the bottom light the top light would go out.

After doing some research it seems that I have my lights wired in series which after hearing makes sense. My question is...is there a way to safely wire the situation I am describing w/o running new wire from the upstairs to the downstairs. The reason for this whole project is we have some work being done downstairs so I have easy access to the bottom switch. The top switch and the upstairs light I can take out of the box, but I would prefer to not cut any dry wall.

I'm by no means an electrician, so if I have left out any important details please let me know. And thank you in advance for your responses.
 
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Old 02-29-16, 07:29 AM
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If I follow your description, the only place you have everything you need to power the second light is at the first light, so you will have to run a new cable from the first light to the second light.

If you have access from an attic above, you can do it without cutting drywall.
 
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Old 02-29-16, 10:15 AM
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Thanks Paul that is a good idea. I do have access to the first light in the attic. I'll have to see if it will be possible to fish a line from there down the ceiling over the stairs to the bottom landing.
 
 

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