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Thread: Dim lights on new circuit with 3-way switches

  1. #1

    Default Dim lights on new circuit with 3-way switches

    I'm having trouble with my light circuit on the stairs up to my attic remodel. I have two 3-way switches on either end with three lights on the stairs. The on/off function of the circuit works fine, but there is reduced power to the lights. I've racked my brain to no avail. Am I missing something obvious?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    LaLa Land, NW Ohio
    Posts
    4,762

    Default

    You have something in series somewhere. If you remove 1 or 2 bulbs, the other(s) should go out if this is the case

    Pull down all the lights, There should be no black to white connections. All blacks go to black wires, all whites go to whites. This may not apply if there is any 3 conductor (w/red) wire run up into your lights anywhere, or if power comes into one of the light fixtures. Post back if you have either of these situations.

    Check the yellow/green boxes above under Switch.. wiring options for more info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Springfield
    Posts
    947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastballer
    ...I've racked my brain to no avail. Am I missing something obvious?
    If you wired the devices in a string with power > 3way > light1 > light2 > light3 > 3way, then you need 4 conductor cable (blk/red/blu/wht) between the lights not 3 conductor (blk/red/wht). You need two travellers to the far 3way, the common from the far 3way, and a neutral.

    It's much easier to wire it up like this instead (one suggestion). There are many different ways to do this depending on where power enters the circuit.

    Homer
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    Last edited by Homer; October 2nd, 2005 at 06:01 PM.
    Depending on your skills, doing your own electrical work may risk the health and safety of the community. Always find out how to do things safely before beginning.

  4. #4

    Default Solved!

    Thanks for your help, guys. Seeing the diagram, it makes complete sense. Had to run another wire, but that was not so bad. Appreciate the response!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastballer
    Had to run another wire, but that was not so bad.
    Oh my, why do I have a bad feeling now? Wire?... as in single conductor?
    "Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool"

  6. #6

    Default Not Crazy

    Not to worry - ran another shielded, grounded, 3-wire cable from one of the switches to one of the lights so it looks similar to the way Homer suggested. All is well.

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