How to wire a two-way light switch with a diagram

Written by c. paul martin
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How to wire a two-way light switch with a diagram
Light switches allow you to control whether a light is on or off, even if multiple switches control the same light. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Two-way switches are a convenient was to wire your house. When set up correctly, a two-way switch lets you use one of two switches to turn a light on or off, allowing you to control a light switch from either side of a room or hallway. The difficultly with setting up this system is the moderate complexity of its design. With the aid of a diagram and instructions, you can wire a two-way switch properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire strippers
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Bypass the two switches with one of the wires, ensuring that it continues uninterrupted all the way from the power source to the light. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of the end of the wire using the wire strippers, and use the flathead screwdriver too secure the wire onto the light's terminal.

  2. 2

    Connect the second wire proceeding from the power source into the "A-input" terminal of the first switch, using the wire strippers and screwdriver to strip and secure the wire.

  3. 3

    Cut and strip the ends of two wires, connecting one wire to the "B" terminal and the other to the "C" terminal of the first switch. Trace these two wires to the second switch.

  4. 4

    Connect the other end of the wire connected to the "B" terminal to the "B" terminal of the second switch, and connect the wire from the "C" terminal to the "C" terminal of the second switch.

  5. 5

    Cut and strip the ends of one more section of wire, connect one end to the "A" terminal of the second switch and connect the other end to the open terminal of the light.

Tips and warnings

  • Shut off the power supplying this circuit before you begin wiring.

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