How to Wire Two Switches to Two Lights

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How to Wire Two Switches to Two Lights
Wiring Schematic (All images create by Matthew Williams)

If you have a room you enter from two different places or a staircase you would like to have lit but you do not want to walk downstairs to turn the light off, then there is a solution. If you have these problems, follow this guide to wire two or more lights together and have them controlled by two light switches to eliminate these problems.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Light fixtures
  • Light switches
  • Wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Drill
  • Flashlight

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    Wiring the Light Fixtures to Two Switches

  1. 1

    Study the basic schematic above. While the two switches and two light fixtures may be far apart, this is the basic idea of what you will have to do. Decide where you want your wall switches and cut out the appropriate hole. Before working with live wire, make sure to turn the circuit breakers off.

    How to Wire Two Switches to Two Lights
    Both Switches Up = Lights On
  2. 2

    Make sure your light fixtures are wired in series. In other words, you need a wire from one switch feeding the other light fixture. Run the wire from the first light fixture to one switch and run the wire from the second fixture to the other switch.

    How to Wire Two Switches to Two Lights
    Both Switches Down = Lights On
  3. 3

    Connect the wire from the first fixture to the top left of the first switch. Run two wires from the top and bottom of the right side of this switch all the way to the second switch.

    How to Wire Two Switches to Two Lights
    One Up One Down = Lights Off
  4. 4

    Connect the two wires from the first switch to the left side of the second switch. Make sure the first wire connects the two top screws and the second wire connects the two bottom screws. Connect the wire from the second light fixture to the bottom screw on the right of this switch.

  5. 5

    Once all these wires are connected, refer to the schematic to make sure you have connected everything correctly. When ready, connect the live wire back to the first light switch. You should now have power to both fixtures controlled by two switches. If the switches are both in the same position, either both up or both down, the lights should be on. If the switches are opposite, the lights will be off.

Tips and warnings

  • You can wire as many fixtures as you want to your two-switch set up using this schematic. Just make sure you daisy chain the fixtures together as shown.
  • Make sure you do not put too much load on this circuit. Read the instructions of your fixtures to see how much power they need and make sure they are supplied accordingly.

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