DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Wiring two switches, two lights, power from plug circuit

9630 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rjniles
As the topic states, I'm wondering if someone can post a diagram showing the wiring from plug outlets to two switches and two lights. What is the most straight-forward way to accomplish this?

It's a newly constructed addition and I'm running the wires for the rough-in inspection.

I've got a plug circuit and need to wire in two ceiling lights on one switch and an outdoor light on the second switch. Is it easier to have the power going to the switches first or to the light fixtures? I have 14-2 and 14-3 wire at my disposal and can run the wiring any way needed but would prefer to run the power to the plugs first.

Thanks in advance!
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
i would say you need 2 circuits, one for the outlets and another for the lights.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
General lighting on the same circuit as general receptacles is pretty standard in the US.
Bring the power into the switches and then to the fixtures. This will lessen box fill at the fixtures and give you a neutral at the switch box.
Thanks for the replies so far.:)

While reading over the simplified version of our electrical code it mentions that a junction box can't be buried in a wall or ceiling. In my current situation I have a short run of 14-2 coming into the addition that used to power a light fixture. I was planning on splicing that 14-2 into a run of 14-2 that will power the addition inside a junction box in the wall.

Am I correct in assuming that I can't actually cover off that box in the wall? Does it need to be installed like a plug or light fixture, flush with the face of the drywall and then the metal cover installed?

I guess it makes sense that any mechanical connection should be accessible.
You have the concept, except the cover does not need to be metal. The box needs to remain permanently accessible. You could install a receptacle there if you wanted to.

A better idea might be to run a new circuit and skip the splice. Pull the old cable out of the junction box at the other end and abandon the cable.
I'd love to run a brand new circuit but it would be much easier to use the existing one. There's only one light fixture on the circuit, presently, and it is already run through the block walls of our house into what is our new addition. It is a 95 year-old block house. I would install a receptacle but it is at a very inconvenient height where it comes through the wall, around 8 feet up.

I'm doing the work myself and would prefer not to have access the main panel if I can avoid it. I've got a pretty healthy respect for electricity but don't enjoy working with it very muchm, hence all the questions! :)
Can you lower the cable and install the receptacle at the normal height?
I just took another look at it and the length that I have might actually work well to make a shelf plug for a small stereo! That will solve the issue of the splice for sure. Thanks for the idea of making it a receptacle!

So back to the original question: Do I need to run any 14-3 if I run the power to the switch boxes first, as you suggested? Basically, I'd have 14-2 run through all the plugs and then to the double switch box. The neutral coming in would be nutted to the two neutrals leaving to their respective fixtures. The hot black coming in would be nutted with a pigtail to both switches. The first switch would have a black hot coming in on the pigtail and another leaving to its fixture with the white neutral. It looks like the second fixture would need 14-3 and the red wire would be attached at the 2nd switch along with a black hot while the neutral white would just continue past to the 2nd fixture.

Now that I've tried to talk myself through that and make it about as clear as mud, is it correct?
See less See more
If there is only one outgoing cable from the switch box for 2 separately switched fixture you would use xx-3 cable. Black is one fixture, red is the other.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
If there is only one outgoing cable from the switch box for 2 separately switched fixture you would use xx-3 cable. Black is one fixture, red is the other.
Now, that is easiest I have seen that explained! Thanks for that!:thumbsup:

If I understand, that means that I can run a 14-3 out of the switch box and control both fixtures. I guess I could also use 2 14-2, but it would be much messier and more complicated than it needs to be.
You could use two xx-2 cables with one to each fixture. Box fill will be more crowded in the switch box.
You could use two xx-2 cables with one to each fixture. Box fill will be more crowded in the switch box.
That's what I thought. Thanks for all your help!
Had these diagrams saved. They show 12-2 and 12-3 cables. Grounds not shown for ease of drawing.


See less See more
I believe the CEC limits the number of outlets (receptacles and lights) to 12 per circuit. Since you are coming off a existing circuit you need to be sure you don't exceed the limit. Also cedtain circuit like kitchen and bath a nkt be extended to other areas.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.