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DIY Tip - How To Wire A 2 Way Switch

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How To Wire A 2 Way or 3 Way Switch

WARNING: Electricity can kill either by direct electrocution or by fires caused by loose connections or bare wires arcing. If you are not sure what you are doing, please call a qualified electrician. Always disconnect the circuit you are working on at the main fuse board and put a sign there that says you are working on it so nobody accidentally reconnects it.

When we want to control the same light with two switches, for example control the the landing light from the bottom of the stairs and from the landing itself, we use 2 Way or sometimes known as 3 Way switches. Unlike normal switches that have 2 terminals, 2 Way switches have 3 terminals. As well as this, they operate in pairs - one of the switches (switch 1 or s1) is connected to the mains live, the other (switch 2 or s2) is connected to the live terminal of the light. The switches are connected to each other by what are known as common wires. The mains neutral is connected directly to the light.

Now, it might seem odd, but the live and switched live wires are connected to the “Common” terminals of the switches (these are identified with the letter “C”).

You will need 2 wires to connect the switches to each other, L1 to L1 and L2 to L2.

Now, see how it works. In the diagram, the switch rockers connect C to L2 in Switch 1, and C to L1 in Switch 2. This means that the light is off as there is no path from live to switched live. Rock Switch 1 to C-L1 and the light is on. Now rock Switch 2 to C-L1 and the light is off.

 

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