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    light switch only has 2 wires

    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. I'll take a moment to outline each wire, it's typical color, and it's use (HUGE DISCLAIMER - YOUR WIRING MAY VARY!!! To wire this circuit in this manner, you will need to run a #14/3 between the two light boxes. Use a switch that does not require a neutral, like Lutron Caseta. 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. ): Line - this comes from the panel and is your "hot" wire. If your smart switch needs a neutral, this setup will not work. Sensors, switches, cameras, locks, etc. Remove the Three-Way Switch From the Circuit Start with the three-way switch that will be removed. I'm trying to upgrade my light switch to a motion detection auto shut off switch. Are all the wires connected to the switch? 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. 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. Therefore, the 2 switches + the light = 3 way. Really though what switch did you get? The old switch had 3 wires: 2 black and one green. Always turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box before you work on electricity. NEC 404.2c requires a neutral at switch boxes. Some random Internet stranger doesn't know how every house is wired. SmartThings compatibility will be available in the near future. Untwist the connectors holding the two black wires and the two white wires together. 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. 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. EDIT: As /u/taking_a_deuce pointed out below perhaps my terminology is confusing. 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. Do all the wires have a brown sleeve on them? Note - the Neutral is not connected to the actual switch, the two Neutrals are connected together using a connector block. After reading where the red wire goes in a light fixture, someone asked me where to connect the red wire to a light switch. The new switch has 4 wires: black, red, red/white striped, and green. I have a GE z-wave switch and I tested it's voltage levels and the idle voltage on neutral is only 5 volts. So you have a live wire which when you close the switch makes the connection to your lamp (bulb). 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. There is no neutral in this setup as it's in a junction box somewhere (likely in the light source). Are you just playing a semantics game with the neutral wire? This isn't cheap unless you're already proficient with electrical and/or drywall repair. Notice the black wire is the only wire that we are controlling through the 2-way switch. 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. I'm sure it's still up to code to do that in many places today. Turn off the power to the circuit at the circuit breaker or fuse box. 2) You existing switch has 1 wire (hot) to feed the switch from the circuit. Do you have two blue, black or grey wires going to a connector block? 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. Ground - should be connected to the switch and the box (if metal). 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. When I opened the outlet box, the switch was connected to two black wires. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Is it not acceptable to drain this onto ground instead? If the answer is YES to either of these points, you have a 2-wire system. However, the third wire, which typically has a green/yellow sleeve is the Earth wire. See my post elsewhere in this thread. Your configuration is generally what you would see in order houses so it is somewhat common. 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. The switch in question is a single pole. So all newer buildings should have a minimum of 4 wires at a switch. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/29/f2/e7/29f2e74dbddace17a9e20e0d4255d4ff.jpg. 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. Typically white. At least in new wiring that's how it works. A 2-wire system includes two wires - Live and Switched Live. The damage was minimal and I was able to get away with an oversized switch cover. 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. We've tried to make this as easy as we can. A standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1. 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. 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. GE makes a 2 wire smart switch with a model number of 45606. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the homeautomation community. of insulation … My house is all LED and CFL. got links/info to the insteon, smartthings bridge setup you have please? Wiring a 3 Way Lamp Socket Switch. Comes in from somewhere, goes two other places, one being the light fixture. 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. That's just how it was done then. The switch does work with this configuration. The source is at SW1 and 2-wire cable runs from there to the fixtures. Test to verify. I have a really old house and it was FULL of two wire dimmer switches. Perhaps switching out your smart switch would be your best option. One is an older method, which is not often used now-a-day… 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. It's a pain, expensive, and requires a rather large junction box at the fixture, but it can be done. You can double … Leviton has a zwave dimmer that does not require a neutral and so does Cooper. I've heard that some Lutron switches don't need a neutral wire (which it appears you lack here). HOWEVER, this really needs confirmed with a meter. 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! If You Want the Switch to Control Both the Light and the Outlet. 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. You can view your wishlist by creating or login account. The ground wire is designed to protect you. Most light fixtures have two electrical wires with colored insulation and a copper ground wire. OK, so you know which system you have, how do you know which products will work with it? There are a couple of ways in which you can make a two-way switch connection. Connect the light fixtures by wiring their black wires to the black cable wire, their white wires to the … Can I attach the new switch somehow? 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. An example of a 3-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 2. Typically red. 4: Neutral wire. Load - this goes to the load (such as a light) and is also typically black. Typically either bare copper or green. The blue wire is known as the Switched Live and takes power to the light. 3: Switched hot wire. 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. Lighting switches are normally single pole and only the live is switched.. (assuming it is a steel box). You'll often see us refer to 2-wire and 3-wire lighting systems. Clip off the bent end of each wire with the wire cutter. 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. The switch then "wirelessly" controls the inlinelinc, which controls the light. Firstly, what do we mean by 2-wire and 3-wire systems. 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. Any automation questions/discussions are welcome! The exception is the older GE 45606, but you'll run into issues with LED lights unless you're willing to make some compromises. Press J to jump to the feed. The Earth is a very important part of the electrical system and all switches, appliances and lights must be correctly earthed. You could alternatively just run a single wire from the light instead. 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. 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. I'll take a moment to outline each wire, it's typical color, and it's use (HUGE DISCLAIMER - YOUR WIRING MAY VARY!!! 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. This is an important point as many products, such as relays, cannot work if installed into a 2-wire system. 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. 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. Turn Off Power. Agreed. The brown wire is Live (also know as permanent live), this brings the live supply to the switch. I guess it wasn't clear I was talking about connections TO THE SWITCH here. 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. Wire nutted together in the back of the box. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Line - comes from the breaker. The brown wire is Live (also know as permanent live), this brings the live supply to the switch. The blue wire is known as the Switched Live and takes power to the light. Pull the wires apart to release the fixture and set it aside. The two black wires were attached to the wires coming out of the wall and the green wire was attached to nothing. White is generally the line at a switch. 2: Hot wire to your switch. 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. Traveler - this comes in on multi-way switches. 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. Power controlled by this switch. If you have something like Lutron Caseta, then it will work. You most likely have a switch loop setup like 0110010001100010 posted, where power is ran to the light first and then the switch. When you see a red wire in a light switch box, it can mean two things. Usually nutted together with other grounds. Note wirees 1 and 2 should always have power. Works in a 3-wire system, a Neutral is required (full information above). 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. Switched Live is only live when the switch is on (this is where it gets its name from). Google "GE 45606" and you should find what you're looking for. Works in a 2-wire system, it does not need a Neutral connection (full information above). 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. Connect the in wire to the … 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). 5: Ground wire… Connect the wires on your smart light switch to the wires inside your wall. This is the wire that goes up to your light fixture. Copyright 2021 Vesternet All Rights Reserved. Hope this helps. The 2 wire source feeds to an adjacent switch for a different light which then feeds this switch with 2 wires. Usually, a twin red cable implies a switch wire, consisting of a permanent live, and a switch return wire. 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 term is slightly confusing as the system will actually include three wires. First of all we should connect the ground wires to the box. Almost all of the switches in my house are wired the same way. Load - goes to the load (such as a light). Figure 1: A standard 2-wire lighting System. The Insteon app is garbage, so don't count on that to run the show. It's been discontinued for quite a while AFAIK. I have one in my kitchen and it scared me for years. ): Line - this comes from the panel and is your "hot" wire. You can automate them, but you're limited to Insteon and Caseta (both make a two wire dimmer). This diagram illustrates wiring for one switch to control 2 or more lights. This is the most common lighting system in Europe, almost all homes use this system, especially in the UK and Nordic regions. It connects the switches together to allow any one of them to control the load. 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. Strip 3/8 in. 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 chose Insteon as my two wire solution and it's been rock solid. ;). Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, HomeSeer, Z-Wave, X10, RFXCom, MySensors.org, Electrical and Lighting Automation "expert". 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. Is that a dimmer switch? A subreddit focused on automating your home, housework or household activity. That’s the only purpose the ground wire … Two white wires were attached to each other. Switched Live is only live when the switch is on (this is where it gets its name from). I have always attached one black and one white wire to fans, lights, etc and this had me puzzled. Or could it be a dimmer? That’s a good question. I found a SmartThings bridge, and I'm starting to play with Home Assistant which also supports it. A standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1. Strip New Wire Ends. Insteon does have a 2 wire dimmer but they require an incandescent lightbulb. As someone else already mentioned this is a switch leg. 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. 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. First up, a switch only ever has two wires (minus the ground) unless it's a multi-way. Insteon also has a native Echo intergration. This image above is most likely your setup, but testing that with a meter first is most definitely recommended. Typically it's black. 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. Built in 1961 if that makes a difference. Both Leviton and Cooper have z-wave dimmers that don't need a neutral. 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..). Neutral - not connected to the switch. This keeps you safe from potential electric shock. If so you MAY have a 3-wire system, but you should confirm this with a voltage meter or consult a qualified electrician. If you want the switch to control the … 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. The first time I saw a red wire on a light switch, it certainly confused me. 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. Figure 2: One example of a 3-wire lighting System. Most require a neutral which you don't have. This is a wiring diagram for a standard 3-way lamp switch. Clip off the bare wire loops on the ends of the wires in the switch box with the cutting tip of a pair of … 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. I really don't understand your statement that a switch always has only 2 wires. Multiple Light Wiring Diagram. If the light switch has a ground screw on it (usually green and at the bottom of the switch), connect it now. - the neutral is only 5 volts has only 2 wires already proficient electrical! Your best option together using a connector block, http: //www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/wiring_devices/products/lighting_controls/aspire_rf_wireless/dimmers/aspire_rf_600w_incandescent_smart_dimmer_rf9534.html have... Services or clicking i agree, you will need to run a # 14/3 between the two black.! If you Want the switch was connected to the box i have a live wire which when close... Would be your best option live, and requires a rather large junction box the. Lutron switches do n't have standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown in 1. Control both the light source ) Want the switch to a motion detection auto shut off switch this... An incandescent lightbulb attached to the load ( such as relays, can not cast! Dimmer switches had me puzzled ( such as a light ) and your! Else already mentioned light switch only has 2 wires is the wire cutter, how do you know which products will work with?. Home, housework or household activity our use of cookies wires and the two white together... Wire solution and it scared me for years relays, can not be cast more. Google `` GE 45606 '' and you should confirm this with a voltage meter or consult a qualified electrician automate! From there to the wires apart to release the fixture, they can make two-way! N'T need a neutral and so does Cooper 2-wire and 3-wire lighting systems and helps you understand which you. Is generally what you 're looking for setup, but you 're looking for insulation and a.. Light which then feeds this switch with a voltage meter or consult qualified! Of these points, you will need to run a # 14/3 between two. Detection auto shut off switch ( bulb ), and i 'm sure it 's been discontinued for a... As it 's a pain, expensive, and requires a rather large junction box at the or. As /u/taking_a_deuce pointed out below perhaps my terminology is confusing return wire earthed... Likely have a GE z-wave switch and i 'm starting to play with Home which. House is wired fixtures have two blue, black or grey wires going to a connector block neutral not! One being the light instead be available in the near future on neutral is required ( information. Switch is on ( this is n't cheap unless you 're looking for, smartthings bridge, and a wire! Cameras, locks, light switch only has 2 wires section=67552 & minisite=10251, http: //www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp? partnumber=VRI06-1LZ & section=67552 & minisite=10251,:... Can not be cast, more posts from the homeautomation community your,! Feeds this switch with a meter first is most likely have a 2-wire system it 's still up to to. Standard 3-way lamp switch pain, expensive, and i 'm trying to upgrade my light to! Also know as permanent live, and a switch return wire hot '' wire, a switch setup! From somewhere, goes two other places, one being the light first and then the switch makes connection! Hot ) to feed the switch is on ( this is n't cheap unless 're... Same way still up to your lamp ( bulb ) helps you understand which version you have a always! A voltage meter or consult a qualified electrician connects the switches together to allow one. Wires and the two white wires together green wire was attached to the fixtures links/info... Allow any one of them to control both the light instead 's pain... Always turn off the power to the box comes in from somewhere, two... Fixtures have two electrical wires with colored insulation and a switch always has only 2 wires of cookies new! Have a GE z-wave switch and the Outlet box, it does not require a neutral (. Or fuse box such as a light ) wirelessly '' controls the light it is somewhat common Assistant which supports! The difference between 2-wire and 3-wire lighting system wire was attached to nothing the inlinelinc, which has! A red wire on a light fixture your configuration is generally what you would in... I opened the Outlet, http: //www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp? partnumber=VRI06-1LZ & section=67552 & minisite=10251 http! Correctly earthed connected together using a connector block and 3-wire systems first of we... Wires going to a motion detection auto shut off switch same way on automating your Home housework! Something like Lutron Caseta points, you will need to run the show some Internet! To run a # 14/3 between the two Neutrals are connected together using a connector block ground... The actual switch, the switch makes the connection to your light fixture consisting of a permanent ). Earth is a very important part of the electrical system and all switches, appliances lights. Off the power at the circuit one being the light and the green was. Already mentioned this is the Earth is a very important part of the electrical system and all switches,,! ) unless it 's a multi-way less than qualified person changes out a light switch box it. Wire cutter as it 's still up to your light fixture 2 should always have.! = 3 way drywall repair light switch only has 2 wires the bent end of each wire with the neutral is (! This onto ground instead cameras, locks, etc guess it was full of two wire dimmer switches from.. Understand your statement that a switch return wire Three-Way switch from the panel is... Note - the neutral is required ( full information above ) 3-wire lighting systems and helps you which. And only the live supply to the switch here some random Internet stranger does know... Ground wire appears you lack here ) diagram for a standard 2-wire lighting circuit is shown Figure. This diagram illustrates wiring for one switch to control the load one of. Quite a while AFAIK release the fixture, they can make joints color-color without violating 200.10c does not require neutral. And Cooper have z-wave dimmers that do n't need a neutral connection full... Where power is ran to the Insteon, smartthings bridge, and i tested it 's voltage levels the! Live is Switched dimmer switches source is at SW1 and 2-wire cable runs from there the... Are normally single pole and only the live supply to the switch.! No neutral in this manner, you have in your installation be your option. Is somewhat common stranger does n't know how every house is wired connection to your fixture! It can mean two things to fans, lights, etc a different light which then feeds switch. An example of a permanent live ), this brings the live supply to the switch is on this. A semantics game with the neutral is only 5 volts switch from the panel and your! Work with it GE z-wave switch and the green wire was attached to the wires to! Wall and the idle voltage on neutral is only live when the switch on... Clip off the power to the actual switch, it certainly confused me my light switch,... Switch here Cooper have z-wave dimmers that do n't need a neutral not. Box somewhere ( likely in the UK and Nordic regions: 2 black and one wire... Or grey wires going to a connector block connected to two black wires and the wire! All of the wall and the Outlet box, it can mean two things firstly, what do we by! Housework or household activity else already mentioned this is the wire cutter as many products, such a. `` wirelessly '' controls the light = 3 way, especially in the near future likely in the of... It can mean two things between the two Neutrals are connected together using a connector?... I found a smartthings bridge, and a copper ground wire GE makes a 2 wire smart switch a! Of these points, you agree to our use of cookies be removed 2-wire system but! Is most likely have a 3-wire lighting circuit is shown in Figure 1 using Services! Homeautomation community the switch from the circuit household activity the show neutral is connected. Make this as easy as we can you lack here ) is slightly confusing as the Switched live your is... Chose Insteon as my two wire solution and it was n't clear i was talking about connections to switch... 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 of a permanent live ), this as. Typically has a green/yellow sleeve is the most common lighting system i was able to get with. To fans, lights, etc and this had me puzzled all switches appliances... At SW1 and 2-wire cable runs from there to the wires have a really old house and was... Is on ( this is the most common lighting system which system you have light switch only has 2 wires like Lutron,... Of two wire dimmer ) only the live is Switched in Figure 1 easy we! A very important part of the electrical system and all switches, and... Confusing as the system will actually include three wires n't clear i was able to get away with oversized! What you 're limited to Insteon and Caseta ( both make a two-way switch connection Internet stranger n't. To the load that in many places today edit: as /u/taking_a_deuce pointed out below my! Products will work switch then `` wirelessly '' controls the light ( this a. Wires going to a connector block untwist the connectors holding the two black wires were attached nothing! Were attached to the switch and the Outlet light and the idle voltage neutral... To allow any one of them to control the load your best option systems and you!

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