Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>How to Install switch to operate two lights.
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JLMCDANIEL
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

OK, what I posted will do the trick and leave the receptacles alone. First step is turn off the circuit and remove the wire running across the room from light 2 to light 3. If that cable is long enough run it from light one to light 4 connecting the blacks to black and whites to white. Turn on the power all four lights should light, the smoke detector should have power, and the additional light and switch should work normally. Turn the power off and disconnect the black power wire from lights 1 & 2 connect the white wire (remark) to the switch to the power blacks and the black wire from the switch to the black going to light 1 &2. Turn the power on, the switch should turn 1&2 on and off but 3 &4 should stay on, the smoke detector should have power, and the additional light and switch should work normally. You can the turn the power off and do the same switch connections at light 4.
Jack

RISurfer
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

Thanks for all your help McDaniel. I think I can tackle this. Just to recap whites from lights 1 and 2 connect to the switch labeled as hot. The blacks from lights 1 and 2 connect to black on the switch. Attached is a diagram. Thanks again.

Attachment: 
JLMCDANIEL
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

NO! Power black to switch white, switch black to light 1 and 2 black. light 1 & 2 white to power white. What you are doing is disconnecting the power from the lights then reconnecting power through the switch.
Jack

Attachment: 
RISurfer
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

Alright I got it. Thanks for the help! I appreciate it.

RISurfer
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

McDaniel,

One more question. Just wondering what the set up for the switch at light 4 to operate lights 3 and 4.

What does switch white wire connect to? In light 1 setup it connects to the blk power wire.
At the 4th light I have:
switch black to light 3, 4 blacks. White from light 3 and 4 whites.
Thanks.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

As I posted in my drawing. You remove the cable between 2 and 3 and install a cable between 1 and 4. The new cable black will be connected at light 1 to power black and switch white, the white to power white. It will the be an extension of the power cable to light 4. In light 4 the new cable black will be connected to the switch white, the black going to the smoke detector and and the other light/switch combo. The switch black to the black for light 3 and 4.
Jack

RISurfer
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

Everthing went well with the wiring.

I installed two dimmer switches to operate lights 1, 2 and a seperate for 3, 4. Let me know if this is normal and the correct operation. The switch 1 for lights 1 and 2 turns off all the lights and will dim all the lights and just operate lights 1 and 2 if switch 2 is off. Switch 2 operates lights 3, 4 a smoke detector and another light which will turn off the lights and dim. I cannot operate switch 2 with out switch 1 being on and powered. They don't work independent of each other. In other words I cannot turn on lights 3 and 4 without having lights 1 and 2 on. Is that the way it is supposed to be or did I mess up some where?

Also switch two turns off lights 3, 4 and also the smoke detector and another light. Come to find out all the smoke detectors on 3 floors are connected to this wire and if the switch is off all smoke detectors are off. Is this right?

canuk
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.
RISurfer wrote:

Everthing went well with the wiring.

I installed two dimmer switches to operate lights 1, 2 and a seperate for 3, 4. Let me know if this is normal and the correct operation. The switch 1 for lights 1 and 2 turns off all the lights and will dim all the lights and just operate lights 1 and 2 if switch 2 is off. Switch 2 operates lights 3, 4 a smoke detector and another light which will turn off the lights and dim. I cannot operate switch 2 with out switch 1 being on and powered. They don't work independent of each other. In other words I cannot turn on lights 3 and 4 without having lights 1 and 2 on. Is that the way it is supposed to be or did I mess up some where?

Also switch two turns off lights 3, 4 and also the smoke detector and another light. Come to find out all the smoke detectors on 3 floors are connected to this wire and if the switch is off all smoke detectors are off. Is this right?

NO !
The smoke detectors are to be constant powered --- not only for legal code reasons but also common sense safety.
The other things you metioned regarding the way the lights are controlled by the switches is also incorrect.

RISurfer
Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

Maybe I am missing something.
Here are the connections I made.

At light 1:

a. switch white connected to power wire black (coming from circuit- 2 connections.

b. Black connected from light 2, light 1, switch and the new black wire coming from light 4. (4 connections).

c. White connected from light 2, light 1, power white (coming from circuit, and the new white wire coming from light 4. (4 connections).

At light 4:

a. switch white connected to new wire black (coming from light 1). (2 connections)

b. Black connected from light 3, light 4, switch black, black wire going out to smoke detector. (4 connections).

c. white from light 3, light 4 white from new wire coming from light 1 and white going out to smoke detector. (4 connections).

Did I mess up the wiring? Thanks.

Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

Maybe a diagram or pictures would help.

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