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Old 11-01-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
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switch loop


At the top of my staircase there is a light switch. The switch provides energy to all the light fixtures in the ceiling in the basement. My basement is a finished basement. There are 5 lights energized by that one switch at the top of the stairs. I did some trouble shooting and the energy is carried from light to light. How can I break this and put a switch in the wall to operate each light, Five lights five light switches. Can I attach all the blacks with a wire nut then all the whites with a wire nut. Then run some romex from the fixture box in the ceiling to the new switch box in the wall then run some more romex back to the fixture to energize it.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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switch loop


very simply stated:

you have incoming power to your group of switches. You run a switch leg and a neutral and ground from that box to each (individually) of the lights. That means, if you have 5 switches in a box, it will have 6 cables in it.

BUT isn't there a switch at the bottom of the stairs as well so that either the one up or the one down will turn the lights on or off? or is there separate lighting for the stairway controlled by a different switch.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Handy, Welcome to the forum

If you change the wiring so that each of the five lights has its own on/off switch you will be worse off from a convenience and safety point.

If you are concerned about energy consumption you can put in CFL Lamp Holders that can be switched on or off individually as long as the 'Top of Stairs' switch is on.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...Id=51616214783
.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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I also need a switch at the end of the stairs for the stair light control if i am correct a 2way with 3 wire 1 red 1 black and 1 white? I have taken some pictures for clarity. The wires with the black tape provide power to the other light fixtures so how so I run a switch leg when I have two or three wires in a extending from a box. When two of these wires provide power to another light.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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What controls those lights now? Where is the switch?
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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KB, check this thread.
The two threads need to be merged.

switch loop

Judging from the pictures, it looks like the power comes into the switch first, then feeds to each light.
You need to find the power at the switch, then take the power to the next switch location.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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switch loop


Yeah, it appears he spammed the boards with this one. I already reported one duplicate thread which is no longer present on the boards.

I am not a moderator here, so I can't deal with the aspect of merging my response into the other thread ...
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #8
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3 threads/posts on same issue merged
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
KB, check this thread.
The two threads need to be merged.

switch loop

Judging from the pictures, it looks like the power comes into the switch first, then feeds to each light.
You need to find the power at the switch, then take the power to the next switch location.
That sound like the right path, find the power at the switch which is at the top of the stairs and run that power to my next switch downstairs. Then how do I control the the other 4 lights in the ceiling. The problem is.. in my basement I have five different areas with lights in the ceiling. These lights are controlled by a single switch at the top of my stairs. When I am down stairs in one area the entire basement is lit, is a waste of energy. To control each light with a switch of its own would be fantastic.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:54 AM   #10
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One thing you can do is leave the existing wiring but add a cable from each of the lights to a switch location. The switch at the top of the stairs will now be a master switch and the five switches downstairs will control the lights individually when the top switch is on.

Could pull chain switches at each light fixture be installed easily? I have been able to install pull chain or (reach up and) twist switches in the sheet metal frame of surface mount fixtures.

To convert any two way switch into a 3 way switch setup, run a 3 wire cable from that switch to the new additional switch location.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
One thing you can do is leave the existing wiring but add a cable from each of the lights to a switch location. The switch at the top of the stairs will now be a master switch and the five switches downstairs will control the lights individually when the top switch is on.

Could pull chain switches at each light fixture be installed easily? I have been able to install pull chain or (reach up and) twist switches in the sheet metal frame of surface mount fixtures.

To convert any two way switch into a 3 way switch setup, run a 3 wire cable from that switch to the new additional switch location.
Yes this is exactly what I had in mind ....so basically push the hot and neutral wires in the box then run the hot and neutral to the switch to energize the switch then run some more romex back to the light to energize the light and create a break in the current in order to control it with a switch. If I am right.... Is this called a switch loop? If I am not what would you do to create a break between the power with a switch since the light is already energized.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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Is it all working now without the individual switches and with the switch at the top of the stairs controlling everything?

If so do this. Run a new 2 wire cable from a light fixture box to a switch location. Remove the original incoming and continuing black wire(s) from the light fixture and connect them to the new white wire. Connect the new black wire to the fixture where the old black wires used to be. The white wire going to the switch is not neutral. Put a band of red or black tape or Magic Marker stain on both ends. This creates a switch loop.

Repeat for each light fixture.

How to wire up a pull chain switch. Remove the incoming and continuing black wire(s) from the light fixture and connect them to one of the wires going to the switch. Connect the other wire from the switch to the fixture.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-03-2010 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Is it all working now without the individual switches and with the switch at the top of the stairs controlling everything?

If so do this. Run a new 2 wire cable from a light fixture box to a switch location. Remove the original incoming and continuing black wire(s) from the light fixture and connect them to the new white wire. Connect the new black wire to the fixture where the old black wires used to be. The white wire going to the switch is not neutral. Put a band of red or black tape or Magic Marker stain on both ends. This creates a switch loop.

Repeat for each light fixture.

How to wire up a pull chain switch. Remove the incoming and continuing black wire(s) from the light fixture and connect them to one of the wires going to the switch. Connect the other wire from the switch to the fixture.
Just wanted to give you my thanks to everyone for being there for my questions. But especially you AllanJ...You have solved my problem. Thank you handytuck.
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