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Old 10-18-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
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Single Switch with Two 3-ways to Control 2 Separate Sets of Lights?


So, I'm new here and may not use the correct terms but here's the scenario:

I currently have overhead lights in my hallway (with stairs). They are controlled by a three way switch - one at the bottom of the stairs, the other at the top.

I'd like to install LED steplights to this same hallway.

Ideally, I'd like the lights to be controlled through the existing single gang-box but replace the existing 3-way switch with a dual 3-way switch (if such a thing exists). This would allow me to control both sets of lights separately without running new line (very invasive due to switch location at the bottom of the stairs). The idea is that I could turn on the step lights from either location before bed and leave them on over night, then turn them off in the morning without having to keep the overheads on at the same time.

Picture this dual switch as a 3-way (one at the bottom of the stairs, another at the top):


Does such a switch exist? If so, can this be wired to work as I describe? If so, how?

I need to double check but I think my current system is wired similar to this:


Essentially, I want to do the same as shown above with a bottom switch using the same line as the top and just pigtail off between the two; the top switch would control the overheads, the bottom switch would control the step lights.

Thoughts?


Last edited by LowlyDIYer; 10-18-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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Single Switch with Two 3-ways to Control 2 Separate Sets of Lights?


I believe that do make a double stacked three way switch, you will probably have to special order it. That's the easy part. You won't be able to use the travelers (the two wires not on the "common" terminal), these can't be mixed with the two separate lights (hall and step). Depending on where your "hot" and "neutral" originate, you should be able to use them. But, you will have to run two new conductors (wires) between the two new switches for the step lights. Also, this will probably bring too many wires into the single gang box. Since it sounds like you are going to have to open up walls, you might as well do it right, and put in two gang boxes at both locations. Remember, that what you need for each three way system, is a hot at one switch, a switchleg (looped to each step light) at the other switch, two travelers (wires) running between the two switches, and a neutral looped between each step light. (and the grounds of course). I hope this helps.

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Old 10-19-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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Single Switch with Two 3-ways to Control 2 Separate Sets of Lights?


You can't do it without adding cabling unless you go for a wireless solution. Even then it depends on how the current switches are wired whether or not you can do it without new cables.
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