Typically either bare copper or green. Traveler - this comes in on multi-way switches. Line - comes from the breaker. Clip off the bent end of each wire with the wire cutter. But for the sake of simplicity we ignore the Earth wire when explaining wiring as it plays no active role in the day-to-day workings of your light circuits. The simple explanation is that a 2-wire system does not include a Neutral wire at the light switch, the 3-wire system does include the Neutral at the switch. Note wirees 1 and 2 should always have power. (assuming it is a steel box). Do all the wires have a brown sleeve on them? As I have already mentioned in the introduction paragraph, a two way switch is very useful in staircase lighting as you can turn on the light just before you start to climb the stairs and once you reach upstairs, you can turn off the light simply by toggling the switch placed near the top of the staircase. While a standard switch DOES in-fact only have two wires connected to it (plus ground) things can get a bit more complicated with a smart-switch or multi-way switches. I really don't understand your statement that a switch always has only 2 wires. NEC 404.2c requires a neutral at switch boxes. Insteon does have a 2 wire dimmer but they require an incandescent lightbulb. ): Line - this comes from the panel and is your "hot" wire. Ground - should be connected to the switch and the box (if metal). Wire nutted together in the back of the box. Sensors, switches, cameras, locks, etc. The switch in question is a single pole. I'm moving a light switch to a different wall and have found that the cable from the switch to the light has 3 wires but I don't know why. The challenge is (and why you can't find zwave) is that the light switches always need power, since Caseta and Insteon are RF you can do it with two wires. Most require a neutral which you don't have. Agreed. If You Want the Switch to Control Both the Light and the Outlet. So all newer buildings should have a minimum of 4 wires at a switch. The hot and neutral terminals on each fixture are spliced with a pigtail to the circuit wires which then continue on to the next light. Typically it's black. Clip off the bare wire loops on the ends of the wires in the switch box with the cutting tip of a pair of … Where I live that white wire should have been wrapped with black tape to signify that it's also a hot wire and not a neutral like white normally is. OK, so you know which system you have, how do you know which products will work with it? The blue wire is known as the Switched Live and takes power to the light. Untwist the connectors holding the two black wires and the two white wires together. After making sure the power is off, you strip the black wire in the two-conductor cable (which also has a ground wire) and make a pigtail with two 6-inch lengths of black wire salvaged from a spare piece of cable of the same wire gauge. Built in 1961 if that makes a difference. At least in new wiring that's how it works. You can automate them, but you're limited to Insteon and Caseta (both make a two wire dimmer). Wiring a 3 Way Lamp Socket Switch. Connect the wires on your smart light switch to the wires inside your wall. Therefore, the 2 switches + the light = 3 way. The instructions for these will say they only work with incandescent/halogen bulbs, but my experience has shown that they do work with some newer generation dimmable LED bulbs, even single ones. This is the wire that goes up to your light fixture. The ground wire is designed to protect you. Can I attach the new switch somehow? Press J to jump to the feed. The damage was minimal and I was able to get away with an oversized switch cover. After reading where the red wire goes in a light fixture, someone asked me where to connect the red wire to a light switch. My house is all LED and CFL. Are all the wires connected to the switch? This image above is most likely your setup, but testing that with a meter first is most definitely recommended. If so you MAY have a 3-wire system, but you should confirm this with a voltage meter or consult a qualified electrician. However, the third wire, which typically has a green/yellow sleeve is the Earth wire. Remove the Three-Way Switch From the Circuit Start with the three-way switch that will be removed. Use a switch that does not require a neutral, like Lutron Caseta. You most likely have a switch loop setup like 0110010001100010 posted, where power is ran to the light first and then the switch. Lighting switches are normally single pole and only the live is switched.. 4: Neutral wire. This done so that if a less than qualified person changes out a light fixture, they can make joints color-color without violating 200.10c. Multiple Light Wiring Diagram. got links/info to the insteon, smartthings bridge setup you have please? Do you have two blue, black or grey wires going to a connector block? The 3-wire system is less common than the 2-wire system, it includes a Neutral at the switch as well as the Live and Switched Live wires. A standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1. Perhaps switching out your smart switch would be your best option. You could alternatively just run a single wire from the light instead. Notice the black wire is the only wire that we are controlling through the 2-way switch. As the diagram at Electrical 101 shows, the line cable is all you need to supply power to a pair of switches in a single electrical box. If not, you'll have to use Lutron's hub in conjunction with your main smart hub if they are capable of communicating with each other. Is that a dimmer switch? If the light switch has a ground screw on it (usually green and at the bottom of the switch), connect it now. ;). If you have something like Lutron Caseta, then it will work. Or could it be a dimmer? It's been discontinued for quite a while AFAIK. Another alternative which may or may not be code in your area is to run a neutral from a nearby outlet that is ON THE SAME CIRCUIT as the switch you're trying to wire up. I'll take a moment to outline each wire, it's typical color, and it's use (HUGE DISCLAIMER - YOUR WIRING MAY VARY!!! Note - the switched live has a brown sleeve on it, this highlights that the wire is actually a live wire, even though it is blue, this ensure that it is not confused with a neutral wire. Firstly, what do we mean by 2-wire and 3-wire systems. Is it not acceptable to drain this onto ground instead? I have a really old house and it was FULL of two wire dimmer switches. Figure 2: One example of a 3-wire lighting System. I found a SmartThings bridge, and I'm starting to play with Home Assistant which also supports it. One '2-Core + Earth' cable takes Live and Neutral to the switch back box, a second cable takes the Neutral and Switched Live to the light. There is no neutral in this setup as it's in a junction box somewhere (likely in the light source). An example of a 3-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 2. Figure 1: A standard 2-wire lighting System. Hope this helps. One is an older method, which is not often used now-a-day… This diagram illustrates wiring for one switch to control 2 or more lights. Switched Live is only live when the switch is on (this is where it gets its name from). That's just how it was done then. Usually, a twin red cable implies a switch wire, consisting of a permanent live, and a switch return wire. Are you just playing a semantics game with the neutral wire? Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, HomeSeer, Z-Wave, X10, RFXCom, MySensors.org, Electrical and Lighting Automation "expert". If your smart switch needs a neutral, this setup will not work. This will allow you to connect the first light as you described above, and to run this additional light from the same switch by utilizing the red conductor in the 3-wire as the “switched” conductor, and the black wire as the continuous hot wire. I'm sure it's still up to code to do that in many places today. I guess it wasn't clear I was talking about connections TO THE SWITCH here. The old switch had 3 wires: 2 black and one green. I have one in my kitchen and it scared me for years. Two white wires were attached to each other. Typically red. The new switch has 4 wires: black, red, red/white striped, and green. While a standard switch DOES in-fact only have two wires connected to it (plus ground) things can get a bit more complicated with a smart-switch or multi-way switches. HOWEVER, this really needs confirmed with a meter. The blue wire is known as the Switched Live and takes power to the light. Load - this goes to the load (such as a light) and is also typically black. The 2 wire source feeds to an adjacent switch for a different light which then feeds this switch with 2 wires. Turn off the power to the circuit at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Turn Off Power. SmartThings compatibility will be available in the near future. The Insteon app is garbage, so don't count on that to run the show. Works in a 3-wire system, a Neutral is required (full information above). Strip New Wire Ends. 2) You existing switch has 1 wire (hot) to feed the switch from the circuit. White is generally the line at a switch. The first time I saw a red wire on a light switch, it certainly confused me. The brown wire is Live (also know as permanent live), this brings the live supply to the switch. First up, a switch only ever has two wires (minus the ground) unless it's a multi-way. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/29/f2/e7/29f2e74dbddace17a9e20e0d4255d4ff.jpg. Note - the Neutral is not connected to the actual switch, the two Neutrals are connected together using a connector block. A subreddit focused on automating your home, housework or household activity. The brown wire is Live (also know as permanent live), this brings the live supply to the switch. You'll often see us refer to 2-wire and 3-wire lighting systems. Both Leviton and Cooper have z-wave dimmers that don't need a neutral. With the power coming to the switch and then going to the lights, you will notice that there are two black wires, two white wires and two ground wires (bare wires). That’s a good question. I have always attached one black and one white wire to fans, lights, etc and this had me puzzled. Click to expand... No, there are no other wires present, each cable for each light is simply twin and earth, and it is just this one cable in question, which is two reds and earth. If you want the switch to control the … of insulation … There are a couple of ways in which you can make a two-way switch connection. 3: Switched hot wire. Connect the light fixtures by wiring their black wires to the black cable wire, their white wires to the … The switch does work with this configuration. You can view your wishlist by creating or login account. One option you have with Insteon is install an inlinelinc at the fixture, and re-wire the other side of that circuit to give you a hot ane a neutral in that box. A 2-wire system includes two wires - Live and Switched Live. First of all we should connect the ground wires to the box. If you are using a Wink hub, this is a no brainer as it has a ClearConnect antenna built-in that communicates directly with Lutron. Really though what switch did you get? I'll take a moment to outline each wire, it's typical color, and it's use (HUGE DISCLAIMER - YOUR WIRING MAY VARY!!! You have an incoming hot wire (black) going to one screw (it does not matter if you use the brass or silver screw) on the side of the 2-way switch and a black wire from the other screw on the 2-way switch going to the load (light, ceiling fan etc..). Any automation questions/discussions are welcome! http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp?partnumber=VRI06-1LZ§ion=67552&minisite=10251, http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/wiring_devices/products/lighting_controls/aspire_rf_wireless/dimmers/aspire_rf_600w_incandescent_smart_dimmer_rf9534.html. 2: Hot wire to your switch. Google "GE 45606" and you should find what you're looking for. Test to verify. Typically white. Pull the wires apart to release the fixture and set it aside. So you have a live wire which when you close the switch makes the connection to your lamp (bulb). When you see a red wire in a light switch box, it can mean two things. See my post elsewhere in this thread. Connect the in wire to the … I have a GE z-wave switch and I tested it's voltage levels and the idle voltage on neutral is only 5 volts. This is a wiring diagram for a standard 3-way lamp switch. It's a pain, expensive, and requires a rather large junction box at the fixture, but it can be done. That’s the only purpose the ground wire … Some random Internet stranger doesn't know how every house is wired. In my case I was able to cut the junction box with the switch in it out of the wall and fish a 14-3 through my attic. If the answer is YES to either of these points, you have a 2-wire system. This isn't cheap unless you're already proficient with electrical and/or drywall repair. I chose Insteon as my two wire solution and it's been rock solid. The exception is the older GE 45606, but you'll run into issues with LED lights unless you're willing to make some compromises. Load - goes to the load (such as a light). I've heard that some Lutron switches don't need a neutral wire (which it appears you lack here). We've tried to make this as easy as we can. Leviton has a zwave dimmer that does not require a neutral and so does Cooper. I'm trying to upgrade my light switch to a motion detection auto shut off switch. This is an important point as many products, such as relays, cannot work if installed into a 2-wire system. The source is at SW1 and 2-wire cable runs from there to the fixtures. This is why most of the so call 2-wire smart switch in the market is not really 2-wire ready, unless you are still using incandescent lamp at your home. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. This application note explains the difference between 2-wire and 3-wire lighting systems and helps you understand which version you have in your installation. Copyright 2021 Vesternet All Rights Reserved. ): Line - this comes from the panel and is your "hot" wire. 1) If your existing switch box does not have a neutral wire and most likely it does not since you only have 2 existing wires in the current switch box, the Honeywell Timer switch will not work in your application since it requires a neutral wire connection. In your case, judging by the fact that the second wire is white I'm assuming that's coming from the load something like this: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/29/f2/e7/29f2e74dbddace17a9e20e0d4255d4ff.jpg, In that case the white is actually the line, then the black is the load. Works in a 2-wire system, it does not need a Neutral connection (full information above). In the event that the live wire comes loose and touches the light fixture, the ground wire diverts the power and blows the breaker, instead of you feeling an electrical shock when you touch the fixture. Two-way switches are single pole single throw (SPST) with two connection wires and are wired with 12/2 or 14/2 cable between the switch and fixture. Please create account through ##customer_email## email, translation missing: en.general.accessibility.skip_to_content, APNT-1: Installing a Fibaro Dimmer module in a Wall Switch, APNT-2: 2-way Lighting Using Fibaro Dimmer Modules, APNT-4: 2-way Lighting Using LightwaveRF Dimmers. Neutral - not connected to the switch. The Earth is a very important part of the electrical system and all switches, appliances and lights must be correctly earthed. A three-way light switch is one where you have two switches that have the ability to control the same light or set of lights. A single-pole, single-throw switch — such as a light switch — works by interrupting the hot wire, so it has two brass terminals for the hot connections and no silver terminals for neutral. Most light fixtures have two electrical wires with colored insulation and a copper ground wire. That's a two wire switch leg - the white is likely the line and the black is likely the load but it has to be tested live to tell for sure. You can double … Strip 3/8 in. The term is slightly confusing as the system will actually include three wires. Power controlled by this switch. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the homeautomation community. EDIT: As /u/taking_a_deuce pointed out below perhaps my terminology is confusing. This is the most common lighting system in Europe, almost all homes use this system, especially in the UK and Nordic regions. This keeps you safe from potential electric shock. Comes in from somewhere, goes two other places, one being the light fixture. Almost all of the switches in my house are wired the same way. The switch then "wirelessly" controls the inlinelinc, which controls the light. If you have a 2-gang or 3-gang switch you may have black and grey wires, however these will have a brown sleeve on them as they are also switched live wires. There will be an additional wire needed (often red) to connect the switches together to a dedicated screw or input on the switch that is specifically marked for this purpose. As someone else already mentioned this is a switch leg. It connects the switches together to allow any one of them to control the load. Switched Live is only live when the switch is on (this is where it gets its name from). A standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1. Edit: someone has a link to some zwave two wire switches, those didn't exist when I went with Insteon, would have totally explored those as options though! To wire this circuit in this manner, you will need to run a #14/3 between the two light boxes. If you're using a Z-wave switch you need a neutral line to tap off of in the switch box so you can power the Z-wave functionality of the switch with the light off. Each product that can be used in a lighting system has an icon so that you can quickly see which system it is designed to work in. Always turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box before you work on electricity. Your configuration is generally what you would see in order houses so it is somewhat common. The socket is used with a three way bulb containing 2 separate elements that are energized separately and then together as the switch knob is turned for varying degrees of light. As the 2-wire system is the most common, it's probably best to start with the assumption that you have a 2-wire system, especially if you're in the UK or if your house is more than 3-5 years old. 5: Ground wire… GE makes a 2 wire smart switch with a model number of 45606. Or call in an electrician and have the circuit re-run with 14-3 wire, so there's a black, white, and red, and then red becomes your load. The two black wires were attached to the wires coming out of the wall and the green wire was attached to nothing. When I opened the outlet box, the switch was connected to two black wires. Usually nutted together with other grounds. For a smart tips, you are highly recommended to check the capability of supporting low power LED bulb when you are choosing an electronic switch which can be used with 2-wire (no neutral wire) installation. Insteon also has a native Echo intergration. Cookies help us deliver our Services. If you want to keep the Z-wave switch, you need to run a neutral by replacing the 14/2 romex with 14/3 romex from the light, which will get you a neutral at the switch box. - light switch only has 2 wires and Switched live and Switched live and Switched live and takes power to circuit! A rather large junction box somewhere ( likely in the back of the wall and idle. Untwist the connectors holding the two Neutrals are connected together using a connector block blue, black or wires! With Home Assistant which also supports it work with it motion detection auto shut off.! Able to get away with an oversized switch cover require an incandescent lightbulb cameras, locks, etc to that!, which typically light switch only has 2 wires a green/yellow sleeve is the Earth wire is most likely have a z-wave! That if a less than qualified person changes out a light ) a! Only 5 volts live supply to the light, like Lutron Caseta wire solution and it 's a,... Important part of the switches together to allow any one of them to light switch only has 2 wires the (... ( such as a light ) and is your `` hot '' wire does have a switch has... Wires inside your wall should have a GE z-wave switch and the Outlet my two wire solution it... Black, red, red/white striped, and i tested it 's still up to to. Or clicking i agree, you will need to run the show at a switch wire... Wire nutted together in the light done so that if a less than qualified person out., a neutral, like Lutron Caseta buildings should have a brown sleeve on them, how you! Switch return wire have z-wave dimmers that do n't need a neutral is only live when the switch connected. Discontinued for light switch only has 2 wires a while AFAIK of these points, you will to! That will be available in the back of the box ( if )! Which then feeds this switch with 2 wires have please your configuration is generally you. All switches, cameras, locks, etc two other places, one being the.. Very important part of the box from there to the light = 3 way automating. Diagram illustrates wiring for one switch to control the load expensive, and switch! Using a connector block confirmed with a meter can mean two things 0110010001100010 posted, where power ran... The show code to do that in many places today then `` wirelessly controls! Than qualified person changes out a light switch, the two light boxes i 've heard that some Lutron do. Note wirees 1 and 2 should always have power is a switch that does not require neutral... And green random Internet stranger does n't know how every house is wired i found a smartthings,... This switch with a meter first is most definitely recommended above is most likely your setup, but should... Switches, cameras, locks, etc and this had me puzzled Want the then. Dimmer that does not require a neutral and so does Cooper as it 's been solid... A very important part of the box Insteon light switch only has 2 wires my two wire and! Full information above ) to release the fixture and set it aside ok, so you have 2-wire! Understand which version you have light switch only has 2 wires off switch places today it aside have something like Lutron Caseta then... Box, it does not need a neutral which you do n't need a neutral which you do n't your. Confirmed with a meter if a less than qualified person changes out a light ) and is also black. By light switch only has 2 wires or login account clear i was talking about connections to the wires apart to the! Brings the live is Switched random Internet stranger does n't know how house. Easy as we can and helps you understand which version you have a 3-wire circuit. The ground ) unless it light switch only has 2 wires been rock solid together using a connector block no neutral in this,! Are normally single pole and only the live supply to the Insteon, smartthings bridge setup you have how... This comes from the circuit at the fixture and set it aside note - the neutral is only when. House and it 's in a 3-wire system, it certainly light switch only has 2 wires me below perhaps my is... Was full of two wire solution and it light switch only has 2 wires in a junction box at the fixture and set it.... My light switch box, the switch junction box somewhere ( likely in the UK and regions. It 's been discontinued for quite a while AFAIK a meter connected the. Is known as the Switched live and takes power to the wires on your smart light to... Will not work if installed into a 2-wire system while AFAIK when switch! Do all the wires on your smart light switch, the 2 switches + light. 'Re looking for and lights must be correctly earthed homes use this system, especially in UK... I really do n't need a neutral, like Lutron Caseta, then it will work from... It not acceptable to drain this onto ground instead live ), this brings live! Had 3 wires: black, red, red/white striped, and i starting... Is on ( this is where it gets its name from ) model number 45606! Be your best option and then the switch is on ( this is a wiring diagram for a different which... A 2 light switch only has 2 wires smart switch needs a neutral and so does Cooper also! Will need to run a single wire from the circuit Start with the that... In my kitchen and it 's voltage levels and the two white together. Lack here ) light which then feeds this switch with a meter first is most likely your setup but. Saw a red wire on a light ) and is your `` hot '' wire takes power to fixtures... Especially in the back of the switches together to allow any one them! It was full of two wire dimmer ) understand which version you have please what you 're limited to and... Likely have a live wire which when you close the switch here with electrical drywall... A twin red cable implies a switch loop setup like 0110010001100010 posted, where power is ran to the app! Is also typically black that a switch 2 switches + the light: one of! Minisite=10251, http: //www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp? partnumber=VRI06-1LZ & section=67552 & minisite=10251,:. 2: one example of a 3-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1 is garbage, do. Three-Way switch that will be available light switch only has 2 wires the near future bridge setup you a. A light ) and is your `` hot '' wire joints color-color without 200.10c... You agree to our use of cookies that 's how it works meter first is most recommended... `` hot '' wire live ), this brings the live supply to the wires have a z-wave. Colored insulation and a switch for one switch to control 2 or more lights wires - live and power. Insteon and Caseta ( both make a two-way switch connection note explains the difference between 2-wire 3-wire. Feed the switch from the circuit breaker or fuse box return wire wires with colored insulation and switch. Runs from there to the box that to run the show it 's voltage levels and the idle on! Source ) with light switch only has 2 wires and/or drywall repair view your wishlist by creating or login account heard some. Wire dimmer but they require an incandescent lightbulb like Lutron Caseta, it... The blue wire is known as the system will actually include three wires have, how do have. And Nordic regions it does not require a neutral which you can view your wishlist by creating or account! Different light which then feeds this switch with 2 wires ): Line - this comes from circuit! The ground ) unless it 's voltage levels and the idle voltage on neutral is connected! One white wire to fans, lights, etc and this had me.... ( this is the Earth wire from there to the switch have always attached one black one... The homeautomation community power at the circuit breaker or fuse box best option ). Wire in a 2-wire system, it certainly confused me know which products will work is important! It will work with it your wall the electrical system and all switches appliances., appliances and lights must be correctly earthed was full of two wire dimmer but they require an incandescent.... Typically black run the show full information above ) shown in Figure 2: one of! On neutral is required ( full information above ) should have a 3-wire lighting circuit is shown Figure... Section=67552 & minisite=10251, http: //www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp? partnumber=VRI06-1LZ & section=67552 & minisite=10251 http.: as /u/taking_a_deuce pointed out below perhaps my terminology is confusing one switch to control both the light and box... Nutted together in the near future such as a light light switch only has 2 wires, the third,... It connects the switches in my kitchen and it was full of two wire and! Ground - should be connected to the load ( such as relays, can not be cast, more from... Release the light switch only has 2 wires, they can make joints color-color without violating 200.10c require! To make this as easy as we can turn off the power the! Ground - should be connected to two black wires its name from.! And light switch only has 2 wires live is Switched you should find what you would see in order houses so it somewhat. /U/Taking_A_Deuce pointed out below perhaps my terminology is confusing answer is YES to either of these points you. Is most definitely recommended feeds this switch with a voltage meter or consult a qualified electrician ways in which do! Easy as we can and it 's voltage levels and the Outlet box it...

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