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Old 09-25-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


Help!

I want to use a single switch to control 3 separate lights in my bathroom. I have 14/2 and 14/3 coming in at the switch. I didn't know what the red wire was, so I terminated it at both ends, then took the blk wire and put it where the red wire was in the switch.

I then connected the lights (blk-blk, wht-wht, grd-grd). All 3 lights are working and can be controlled by the on/off switch. HOWEVER, I also just discovered that the 2 GFI outlets in the bathroom are NOW controlled by the on/off switch. What did I do wrong? Before I installed the 3 lights all GFI's and single light were working correctly. Do I need to run 14/3 between each light? and reconnect the red wire in its original place on the switch?

Any suggestions, advise would be greatly appreciated.

PS., it is a 15amp fuse and I am running 3, 50watt bulbs and there is only one light and 2 GFI's in the entire bathroom.


Last edited by Dorkus; 09-25-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:46 PM   #2
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


How do I view the answers to this question?

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Old 09-26-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


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How do I view the answers to this question?
You wait for someone to answer and they will appear here. 45 minutes in the middle of the night a bit of a short time to expect an answer to your question.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


The black wire is the feed to the GFCI. You need to use the red wire as the switched power tot he lights.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


Hey Joed, thanks for the information.

I wasn't sure how I would receive an answer to my question. So, I responded to my own question and realized it would post below my message.

I did not expect an instant answer in the middle of the night to my question. No need to be so curt. Non the less, I was please to get any reply. I am new to this whole thing and not exactly sure how this whole thing works.

So can ya help? What did you mean by your second comment? Is this the place to post a question and to receive answers? Your thoughts and time are appreciated.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


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The black wire is the feed to the GFCI. You need to use the red wire as the switched power tot he lights.
I am sorry, I get it, the "Do not post PM that can be found in forum" is on all your messages. You want to encourage people to look, study then ask ? if they still can't find an answer to their ?'s, then they can post their msg.

Now for your answer: THANKS A MILLION! I THINK I UNDERSTAND WHAT U R SAYING.

I have to go real slow (1st grader steps) from the switch tie the black wires together and connect to switch, white together, but not connect to switch, grds together and the single red wire goes on the opposite side of the blk wire in the switch.

Now at the lights, I need to run 14/3 cable (or if there another easier way?) to all three lights...connecting the red wire to each black wire on the fixtures. All others are connected according to color, blk-blk, wht-wht, grd-grd.

Since I didn't do anything with the GFI's, I am not going to mess with them, they worked prior to the project. This whole wire connection arrangement should work? Right?

My objective is to operate 3 lights together controlled by one switch. I need the GFI outlets always "on" unless tripped.

After all this is done, I want to install a dimmer switch...is this connection straight forward?

Again, thank you for your time and knowledge, it is very very much appreciated!

Last edited by Dorkus; 09-26-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


If you can describe how things used to be wired up as well as what it looks like now, that would help us figure out why your GFCI units don't work.

About the the "Do not post PM" part, the jist is that we please avoid using email for technicql questions. Well, I suppose we could use email for personal questions.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-26-2009 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:37 PM   #8
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


Last line is my signature. It show up on all posts. I want people to ask question in the forums not send a private message(PM). PMs don't help others who read this post looking for answers because they are private. They don't show up in forums.
To give a more complet answer we need to know the wires in the box where the red wire is capped. I presume that is one of the light. We already know about the switch.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:00 PM   #9
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


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Last line is my signature. It show up on all posts. I want people to ask question in the forums not send a private message(PM). PMs don't help others who read this post looking for answers because they are private. They don't show up in forums.
To give a more complet answer we need to know the wires in the box where the red wire is capped. I presume that is one of the light. We already know about the switch.
Hey joed! Thanks for your patience. I've been gone over the w/e helping care for my folks. I will get the information you've requested. Again, I am really pleased you are willing to help me...hope you had a good w/e, will post answer to your? tomorrow.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:08 PM   #10
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How do I connect one switch to 3 lights?


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If you can describe how things used to be wired up as well as what it looks like now, that would help us figure out why your GFCI units don't work.

About the the "Do not post PM" part, the jist is that we please avoid using email for technicql questions. Well, I suppose we could use email for personal questions.
Thank you AllanJ for your answer. I will post tomorrow the "original" wire set-up prior to my attempt to install the extra 2 light fixtures...Again, thank you for your time!

Since the installation of the other 2 light fixtures isn't working correctly, i am going to hook everything back-up to the "original" configuration. Then, I will follow the directions i receive in this forum. Again, thanks for your time!

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