2 switches on 1 circuit

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by hos, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Mar 23, 2009 #1

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is is possible to hook up 2 light switches on 1 circuit? I'm not talking about a 3-way switch -- but 2 switches controlling 2 separate set of lights. I can't seem to find anything out on this.
     
  2. Mar 23, 2009 #2

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    Lic.Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    44
    Absolutely.
    They can be wired in series so that both have to be on for the load to be on; or in parallel so that if either/any switch is on the load is on.
     
  3. Mar 23, 2009 #3

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    249
    Bring your hot & neutral into the double gang switch box, split the hot and neutral here.
    One hot into switch #1, the other hot into switch #2.
    One hot out of switch #1 to fixture #1 along with a split neutral.
    The other hot out of switch #2 to fixture #2 along with the other split of neutral.
    Post back if this is not clear but, be sure the power is off before you proceed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  4. Mar 23, 2009 #4

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    The power is coming through 9 lights into the switch -- then I'm assuming from the switch to the next switch, which then goes to 3 more lights. End of circuit. I'm using 14-2 wire also. Do I need 14-3?
     
  5. Mar 24, 2009 #5

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    249
    I think you have that backwards. Power is coming through the switch and then into 9 lights. I assume the next three lights are on the next switch. With this setup, you have to turn on the 9 lights just to turn on the 3 lights. Correct?
    14-2 will do just fine, you only need a few inches of wire to make the necessary pigtails in the J-box.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2009 #6

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    272
    You must have 14/3 through all the lights and to the first switch to make this work properly. 14/2 from first switch to second switch and to the lights controlled by second switch.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2009 #7

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    Lic.Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    44
    Ooops. My mistake. I read it wrong.

    Two switches. Each one for it's own set of lights. Got it now. Sorry guys.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2009 #8

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    Lic.Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    44
    I agree with the others. This cannot be right.

    Try describing it again in detail. For example, try not to say "The power is coming through 9 lights into the switch". It is impossible to tell what you mean by this. The power "going through" the lights would definitely require 14/3 cable.
    Try to say something like "I have a 14/2 feed in the switch box. Then a 14/2 cable going from the switch box to the light.......etc...."
    THAT we can understand.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2009 #9

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    249
    JoeD is correct and I was just popping in to correct myself.
    If you have the switches apart from each other then JoeD is technically correct (14/3).
    If you want the two switches in the same box, side by side, then my original statement would be correct (14/2).
     
  10. Mar 24, 2009 #10

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, let me clarify. From the breaker box, I have 14-2 running into a recessed light box which then moves from box to box tying them up black to black and white to white (9 of them). Then from the ninth recessed box, 14-2 wire runs to the light switch.

    Now if that was all I had to do -- I'd be ok. I just ran a circuit like that and it worked great (with the switch being on the end).

    However, I still have 3 more lights on another switch (in the same gang box) that I'm trying to place on the same circuit. So 2 switches controlling 2 sets of separate lights on the same circuit. That's my dilemma.

    Can I draw my power from the first set of lights? Or can I somehow connect the 2 switches together to get my power and yet still control each set of lights separately.

    I hope that makes it a bit more clear. Thanks for all your help!
     
  11. Mar 24, 2009 #11

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you understand my problem correctly -- I'm afraid you might be right. If I understand this - the 3rd wire in the 14/3 becomes the power that runs through the whole lot of lights and then bypasses the first switch? Is that why only 14/2 is required for the second switch and set of lights?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  12. Mar 24, 2009 #12

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    249
    Your still reading the circuit backwards but, I understand what you want to do and should follow JoeD's suggestion to achieve your desired results. Although, it almost sounds like the circuit is doubling back on itself giving you the impression that the switch is at the end of the circuit.
     
  13. Mar 24, 2009 #13

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what if I ran a new wire from the breaker box to the double gang switch box? Could I spit the hot wire to each switch and then run from the switch to each set of lights and still have the lights controlled separately?

    I'm now trying to avoid having to run 12/3 to each of my lights. I already have 12/2. If I wrote 14/x before -- it was a mistake.
     
  14. Mar 24, 2009 #14

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess when I say circuit -- I mean the breaker. But I should mean the switch and lights?
     
  15. Mar 24, 2009 #15

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok. I rewired it and had the 12/2 wire come from the breaker boxes into the switch box. I split the hot and neutral to the switches and ran from the switch to the lights. They work! Although the lights are flickering -- not sure why that is. It's the helical flourescent mercury laden ones. Thanks for the help!
     
  16. Mar 24, 2009 #16

    hos

    hos

    hos

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more thing.....As long as I have 12/3 wire, can I put a light switch anywhere in a circuit and still have hot outlets (e.g. circuit begins at an outlet, then runs to the lights, then the switch and then another outlet)??

    As long as I have 12/3 running from the light to the switch?
     
  17. Mar 24, 2009 #17

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    249
    Ok, sounds like you wired it per my instructions instead of JoeD's instructions. Your posting was a bit confusing and depending on how we interpret it, you'll wind up with two different set of instructions.
    In regards to your final question, the answer is yes but, not per your (e.g.).
    Your (e.g.) implies that the lights can never be shut off because there's no switch between the outlet and the lights. The lights can be powered on one switched circuit inside the 14/3 and the outlets can be powered on the other hot circuit in the 14/3. Just make sure to tie the outlet circuit to the incoming side of the switch or you'll end up with switched outlets.
    Another thing is that you only need 14/2 or 14/3 depending on what you want to do but, 12/3 is overkill.
     
  18. Mar 28, 2009 #18

    KEITH

    KEITH

    KEITH

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you better recheck that wiring. If you have the black from the panel hooked up to the black of the first light and the white from the panel hooked up to the white of the first light then the light would always be on.
     
  19. Mar 29, 2009 #19

    KEITH

    KEITH

    KEITH

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you want to do somethng like this
    HTML:
             bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
             b                        b
             b                        b
             b   +========+           b   +========+
             b   "        "           b   "        "
         bbbbbbbb"        "           bbbb"        "
                 "        "               "        "
                 "        "               "        "
           BBBBBB"        "         BBBBBB"        "
           B     "        "         B     "        "
           B     +========+         B     +========+
           B                        B
           B                        B
           B                        B
    This is just for the black wires
    b= black from panel
    B= black to lights

    all whites get tied together
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  20. Nov 9, 2009 #20

    Sandman

    Sandman

    Sandman

    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can someone please explain why in kok's original post the split neutrals need to go directly to the light fixtures instead of through each switch?
     

Share This Page