Light Wiring Diagrams

3 way light switching (old cable colours)

here we have a 3 way switching lighting circuit (sometimes called two way switching with intermediate). This allows a single light to be turned on or off from any of the switches. This page shows it wired in the old cable colours if your house has the new colours you want to go here:

3 way switching (new cable colours)

This is very similar to the two way switching circuit but with and additional intermediate switch introduced into the three wire control cable that links the two end switches.

3 way switching schematic wiring diagram

fig 1: Three way switching schematic wiring diagram

The circuit consists of a two way switch at each end (top and bottom switches in Fig 2) and an intermediate switch in the middle. All three switches are connected together by a three core and earth control cable. Notice that the wire connected to the COM terminals is looped straight through the intermediate switch using a cable connector.

Three way light switching circuit diagram (old cable colours)

Fig 2: Three way light switching circuit diagram (old cable colours)

All earth wires should connect to the earth terminal in the switch back-boxes and if you are using metal switches there MUST be a loop from this earth terminal to the one on the switch plate (see note A on Fig 2)

Four way switching and more

This circuit can be extended to four, five way switching by adding additional intermediate switches (wired as shown in fig 2) anywhere along the control cable.


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3 way light switching (new cable colours)

here we have a 3 way switching lighting circuit (sometimes called two way switching with intermediate). This allows a single light to be turned on or off from any of the switches.This page shows it wired in the new cable colours if your house has the old colours you want to go here:

Three way switching (old cable colours)

This is very similar to the two way switching circuit but with and additional intermediate switch introduced into the three wire control cable that links the two end light switches.

3 way switching schematic wiring diagram

Fig 1: Three way switching schematic wiring diagram

The circuit consists of a two way switch at each end (top and bottom switches in Fig 2) and an intermediate switch in the middle. All three switches are connected together by a three core and earth control cable. Notice that the wire connected to the COM terminals is looped straight through the intermediate switch using a cable connector.

Three way light switching wiring diagram (new cable colours)

Fig 2: Three way light switching wiring diagram

All earth wires should connect to the earth terminal in the switch back-boxes and if you are using metal switches there MUST be a loop from this earth terminal to the one on the switch plate (see note A on Fig 2)

Four way switching and more

This circuit can be extended to four, five way switching by adding additional intermediate switches (wired as shown in fig 2) anywhere along the control cable.


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1 gang intermediate light switch

The intermediate light switch is used where three or more switches control one light and used in conjunction with two two way light switches to achieve this

single gang switch face

single gang switch face

Single gang intermediate light switch

Single gang intermediate light switch

Light switch mechanism

Intermediate light switch mechanism

Intermediate light switch mechanism

There are four terminals, usually L1, L1 and L2, L2. In one position, L1 and L2 are connected in pairs. In the other position, alternate pairs are connected.


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2 gang intermediate light switch

The intermediate light switch is used where three or more switches control one light and used in conjunction with two two way light switches to achieve this. It is effectively two single gang intermediate switches on one face plate.

Double gang swith face plate

Double gang switch face plate

Double gang intermediate light switch

Fig 2: Double gang intermediate light switch

Light switch mechanism

Intermediate light switch mechanism

Fig 3: Intermediate light switch mechanism

Each of the gangs (or switches) above in Fig 2 (of which there are two) work like this (Fig 3): There are four terminals, usually L1, L1 and L2, L2. In one position, L1 and L2 are connected in pairs. In the other position, alternate pairs are connected.


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3 gang intermediate light switch

The 3 gang intermediate light switch is used where three or more switches control one light and used in conjunction with two two way light switches to achieve this. It is effectively three single gang intermediate switches on one face plate.

Triple gang switch face

Triple gang switch face

Triple gang intermediate light switch

Fig 2: Triple gang intermediate light switch

Switch mechanism

Intermediate light switch mechanism

Fig 3: Intermediate light switch mechanism

Each of the gangs (or switches) above in Fig 2 (of which there are three) work like this (Fig 3): There are four terminals, usually L1, L1 and L2, L2. In one position, L1 and L2 are connected in pairs. In the other position, alternate pairs are connected.


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