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Old 03-30-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
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2 lights from 1 switch, w/ no wire directly from light1 to light2


I want to connect two lights to one wall switch. Every diagram I can find for this situation shows running wire from light1 to light2. I really don't want to do that, because the lights will be sconces on a brick wall that I can NOT get behind or cut out bricks from (it is a party wall / firewall between townhouses). I want to have minimal wiring running up the smallest raceway from the floor to each sconce. I have complete access to the floor (I am redoing it and already have pulled up the boards to access the joist space). I am willing to have a recessed floor-mounted gang or junction box in the floor along the brick wall.

How do I "split" the 14-3 Romex coming from the wall switch to the floor box, so that I only need to run one 14-2 wire from that box to each sconce?

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Old 03-30-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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2 lights from 1 switch, w/ no wire directly from light1 to light2


You can do the split right in the switch box if you have room. You have black and white in the switchbox? If so, bring two 14/2 wires (12/2 if the circuit is 20amps) into the switch box, wirenut all the whites together.

Connect the incoming power from the panel to one screw on the switch. If your switch is "backwired" you can probably connect the other two blacks (the ones that run to the lights) to the other screw - not wrapped around the screw, as you can't wrap two wires around a single screw, but behind the little plate that gets tightened as you turn the screw. The backwire switches usually have room for a wire on each side.

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Old 03-30-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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2 lights from 1 switch, w/ no wire directly from light1 to light2


Thanks, I understand what you mean, and I hadn't thought of that, but at this point it would be very difficult to get another wire from the switch to the brick wall side of the room.
However, you gave me an idea -- right now the switch goes to a duplex outlet (both plugs are switched) by the brick wall; this was temporary, but I can just run two new 14/2 wire from the back of the switched outlet, one wire going to each sconce, and leave the outlet as a recessed floor outlet that is also switched. I'll just have to get a larger gang box for the switched outlet, but that's no problem.
Does that make sense?
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:58 AM   #4
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2 lights from 1 switch, w/ no wire directly from light1 to light2


Sounds fine to me, but I am not sure of code requirements for floor outlets (GFCI?)
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:25 AM   #5
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2 lights from 1 switch, w/ no wire directly from light1 to light2


In most places you're not allowed to do your own wiring in townhouses, condo's, rental properties, multi-family, etc. only a licensed electrician. The reason being, if you screw up. Having your own house and screwing up you risk usually only your property and occupants. Doing it in a townhouse, rental property, multi-family, etc. and screwing it up if there's a fire you risk the lives of other families, occupants etc. and because of that the rules of doing your own electrical work in such places is usually pretty clear. I do my own electrical but I own my own house, if I lived in one of the situations above I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did it. Just an FYI.

Last edited by Piedmont; 03-31-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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