Wiring for multiple control [4 switches control one set of lights] light switch !!!

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Ok Ok I know this is simple but it's irritating me beyond belief.
Leviton light switches.
In a dual box next to an outside door there are two light switches. One is the single control for a porch light, the other is a one of four switches that turn on/off the hall way lights.
Of course the installer put the hallway light switch adjacent to the door opening and the porch light switch way on the inside. Plus, paid no attention to having all of the individual multiple switches end up in any proper position when the hallway light is off, so want to change. Swapping these two switches in their physical location in the box is no problem the wiring appears to be long enough, although the cabling comes down through the inlet holes in the wrong places. but still reaches.
Big problem is the best way to change the switching action of the multiple control switch. Went to google, not much help there. as usual. Did find that 4 wire means 3 switches, not four. and nothing for 5-wire and found an interesting description of how a 'control' switch is in the box that supplies wiring up to the fixture. That may be this box, but doubt it, because this switch has four leads.
However *if* this is the cable that goes up to the light fixtures; why there would be a RED and a BLACK going to the fixtures when all I need is the BLACK power going up there. So, thought I'd ask.
Ignoring GND wiring that's all done correctly. There is a cable with RED, BLACK, and WHITE, call it CABLE A. Another cable, call it CABLE B has RED, BLACK, and WHITE. As expected the WHITE is simply bypassing everything with a wire nut. BLACK A goes to IN at the top of the switch. BLACK B goes to OUT at the top of the switch. RED A goes to IN close to bottom of switch and RED B goes to OUT close to bottom of switch.
What is the best way to rewire the switch to get the inverse from what it is now and the 'proper' position?
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 18:56:00 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

Before you do anything, take pictures of how it is now.
If what you have is 3 way or 4 way switches, sometimes the switch will be up when the light is off. I think that is what you are asking. Sorry I quit reading about half way down.
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Agreed. you can start by having the light off when all the switches are down, but as soon as one switch is up to light the light, another switch will have to go up to turn the light off. Now you will have two switches down and two switches up, and the light will be off. Now you will have to turn one up switch down or one down switch up to turn the light back on. So can't dp what you seem to want to do - sorrry.
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On Jun 17, 10:27 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net"

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+1
Let's start with the simplest multiple switch system, ie 3 way. That uses two switches. But the state of the light and the position of the switches is not fixed. On can be either up or down, depending on the position of the other switch.
If you want them all to work the same way, there is a solution. Look at Lutron Maestro series. Essentially they are electronic dimmers. You have one master one and up to 10 companion ones. They connect very easily using the existing wire. They are really cool dimmers. You can set the level you want and when you push the switch they softly come up to that level or softly go out. If you're leaving and want the lights to go off in 15 secs or 2 mins, you just push the switch like you're turning it off, but hold it. A series of leds starts increasing, showing how long until it turns off. When you get the amount of time you want, you release the switch. There are also versions with motion sensors too.
Downside is that they aren't cheap...... To do 4 you're probably looking at $125+
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Interesting. Will this brand control *any* load?
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They have several different models that will work various LIGHTS, including transformer driven ones. Being dimmers, they are targetted to dimmable lights.
But I see in another post that you want to see the switch position to tell if it's on or off. These use a push paddle type of system, so there is no toggle switch to look at. It might have an LED indicator though that shows when it's on. Not sure about that. Probably does though, because if you have 6 of these Lutron dimmers it would be good to know at each one that somebody has turned the light on. When I'm back at the house I will check for you.
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On 6/18/2013 7:03 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Along the lines of "LED indicator", I believe an old thread had a 3-way switch with a pilot light. There was a resistor from each traveler to a common point, with the pilot light from the common point to the neutral. The common point would be 120V with the lights off and 60V with lights (incandescent) on. Could do the same thing with a 4-way, and the manufacturer probably did. (Switch lights up with the lights off.)
Can't do what the OP wants - multiple control positions with switch that turned the light on in the up position. Actually you could by wiring all single pole switches in parallel and the switch(es) that are 'up' turned the light on, but not a useful solution.
Closest may center off, momentary contact up and down switches, as in your post, where you don't have 'chaotic' random up and down switch positions.
Lots of descriptions of 3-way, 4-way switches on the internet which the OP should look at if he hasn't figured out how his switches work.
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The only way it can be done is to control the light with a device similar to a motor starter with multiple start/stop buttons.
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On 6/18/2013 11:36 AM, harry wrote:

Actually switch lights up with the lights on.
Another variation of pilot light at the switch uses a neon light between the travelers. A neon light is used because it operates at very low current. Switched lights probably have to be incandescent. Switch lights up when the lights off. I believe these are available in 3-way and 4-way switches.

Probably still available is a low voltage relay system that uses center off switches with momentary up for on and down for off.
There was also a low voltage scheme with a push button and a relay that changed state, as in TimR's post.
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I've been pondering the idea of some relay logic combined and the 'main' ON/OFF relay in the attic. Sounds great. Except, I'm back to the problem of turning ON/OFF only the correct switch when faced with a bank of four switches. Worse, sometimes the light I want to turn off isn't even controlled by this rack of switches. Oh, well, at least if I can go around, turn all the switches to a known OFF position, then in the middle of the night when I wish to turn off the light I just turned on, it's obvious, because that light switch is the only light switch in the whole rack that is in what looks like ON. Thus, I don't turn ON/OFF a whole series looking to turn off that single light. [Yeah, I know, memorize them, but this house is large, has lots of multi switch panels, and sommme light swtich positions in the rack are either NOT consistent, or plainly wrong location - which I' in the process of changing.] hmmm, I'd need a small indicator that illuminates at night when the light is OFF to show you the switch to turn ON. but if another switch turn on the light... maybe two indicators at each switch. arggg! wait, if the indicator is OFF when the light is ON, that will suffice. Just hit the switch that is NOT lit and the light goes out and of course the indicator then comes ON. Nice feature. Although I'm not a fan of tiny little light dots around my bedroom walls [approx 30 by 50 ft and some 15 light switches] it could be made to work.
From all the replies there's not been much sympathy for the confusion 3,4,5-way switches can cause. I agree, if there's a single switch controlling the light set, not a biggie, don't care about up or down position, but when you have light switch panels containing 4 and sometimes 5 switches it can be a bit daunting when you're half asleep. and don't want to exercise every frigging light in the room trying to find the right one.
Surprisingly, with a lot of switches running one set of lights, swapping has been far easier than expected. The four conductor switches that provide the X Cross [you can stack 20 of these switches if you wanted to] are clearly labeled with two IN and two OUT and a red and black wire to a single 'cable' goes to either IN or OUT. Sadly, the switch manufacturers are not consistent in where on their switches the IN and OUT's are located. So have to pay a bit of attention. So far, with a lot of switches running a single light section all I've had to do is swap either the IN or the OUT wire side and done. Plus, with 14 Awg the switch wiring is not disturbed too much so the switch goes right back in the box after the change.
The really difficult one has been to find the right wires to swap on the 'simple' 2 switch controller set up. They only have 3 wires and it's not obvious which two to switch. black, black, red for example. I know one is common and I swap the other two, but... I actually had to use an ohmmeter to find out on one switch and was VERY surprised as to the two to swap. Didn't look right from the physical locations on the switch, but worked out.
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On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:22:37 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

https://www.google.com/search?q=Ptouch&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=np&source=hp
Get one of these
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=org...

Thanks, will be useful for labeling all the house TV coax, cat-5, and security system cabling! Security system alone is daunting with 8 cameras and 20+ individual lines. Today is easy, but working a month from now is not so easy - can't remember what is what.
For the light switches that still leaves three problems. 1. Doesn't look very elegant. 2. How to name them and still know what the labels mean ;) 3. This is a bit more difficult to overcome, adhesives don't stick well, or long, here. Could seal with clear coat of something, but now we're talking the first time the switch panels get cleaned, ALL that comes off, single wipe.
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On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:26:11 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

If you want it really professional, you can have the labels etched in the covers.
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On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:26:11 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

Btw You can also pick one color for security, one color for network and one color for CATV.
You can also take a photo of your switch plates and then type on the photo the location of the switch and the label you want etched. (mspaint will do)
Or you can just write the info on the back of the cover when you take them off. (sharpie)
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On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:26:11 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

BTW Captain Kirk and his team managed to Trek the universe without having their command console marked. I don't know why you can navigate a house. :)

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On 6/19/2013 1:33 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

Hey, The Next Generation had touch screens that beeped whenever they touched them. ^_^
TDD
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s=org...

Why not use a special color for the switches you are concerned about, or always make them the left-hand most switch in a bank of adjacent switches. Unless you are developing Alzheimers, you are making a big deal out of what most of us do on a routine basis many times a day.
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On Jun 17, 7:27 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net"

he

It's a bit obsessive, but I like to be able to set ALL the switches at some time to the 'proper' position. It's easier to tell which switch had been turned on to control what light, especially when there are racks of these switches EVERYWHERE!
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It's not possible with the conventional method of having more then two switches. Even with just two switches it's possible to have the light on with both switches up or down
I know how it all works but I don't know the terminology used in the US.
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LOL! chloroform in print?
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