How Do I Wire Two Lights On Two Separate Switches In One Box?


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Larry Patterson answered
Depends on how any existing wiring has been done.  I'll just describe the procedure for one of several options (based on all new components-no existing wire in place to either light, and a new box with new power feed coming in):
The hot (usually black) coming into the box from the circuit breaker can be split (hot wire spliced to two outgoing short sections of black wire) with the short jumpers going to one screw on each switch.  Then one black wire from the other screw on the switch going to the appropriate light.  Neutral and ground go along with each switch leg (hot only when switch is on) to the appropriate light.

If the power already is wired to one light, run a 3 conductor cable from the light to the switchbox and treat that black wire(hot) the same as described above. The second wire you ran down from the light can be the switch leg back to that light. The third  (white) wire is the neutral, and will provide a neutral to the second light.  Grounds of course have to be continuous to and from all devices.

If there is no power already to either light, or if there is power to only one light, this is a fairly easy job.  If there is power to both lights you could be creating an electrocution or fire hazard.

Caution: If both lights already have  individual power feeds possibly on different phases and/or circuits, you could end up with 220 volts in the box and elsewhere.  If there is power already to both lights you will need to consult a licensed electrician.  The wire sizes you select must be compatible with the breaker that controls the circuit.  TURN OFF POWER BEFORE ATTEMPTING WIRING.

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