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HooKooDooKu 04-19-2010 03:08 PM

Two switches between power and lights
Anything in code (NEC 2008) that says I can't have two switches between power and the lights? As in both switches must be "on" before the lights come on?

What I want to do is have a room with multiple light sources (overhead, recessed, wall sconches, etc). I want one bank of switches to determine which lights are "active", but actually power them from a 4-way switch setup.

The idea is sort of like a 3-way dimmer switch, where you have a sliding switch to "set" your desired light level, and a three way switch to turn the lights on and off from multiple locations. But in my case, you "set" the desired light level with a bank of switches that controls each light source. Then the 4-way switch turns the selected set of lights on/off.

jbfan 04-19-2010 03:33 PM

Kinda out of the ordinary, but not a code issue that I am aware of.

HooKooDooKu 04-19-2010 04:08 PM

Well, I'm sort of an "out of the ordinary" kind of guy.

Actully, a part of what lead to this solution was not being sure how much light this new playroom/den is going to need. With everything moving to CFLs, I don't want to install dimmers. So I decided to convert the ceiling lights to logical "three-way" lights. Basically, I'm going to install ceiling lights fixtures that contain two bulbs. I'm going to install one 40 watt and one 60 watt bulb in each fixture. I'll run 14/3 to the fixtures, and power the 40 watts from the black and the 60 watt from the red. The primary 4-way switches will power the switch bank. The switch bank will independantly power the black and red of the 14/3. That way, without any special hardward, I'll be able to have lights in the ceiling powered on at 40, 60, or 100 watts (or what ever pair combination I want to put in the light fixtures).

I could extend the logic to make 7 way lights by using light fixtures with three bulbs. I could fill each light fixture with a 25, 40, and 60 watt bulbs. That way, I could have 25, 40, 60, 65, 85, 100, or 125 watts of light. But the additional wire and multiple combinations on the switches makes that idea a bit over-kill.

jbfan 04-19-2010 04:10 PM


Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu (Post 430731)
Well, I'm sort of an "out of the ordinary" kind of guy.

I kinda figured that about you!:whistling2:

AllanJ 04-19-2010 04:14 PM

No problem having a master switch or even a master 3 way setup feeding a bank of ordinary dimmers and/or ordinary switches.

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