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
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
What is the best way to rewire the switch to get the inverse from what
it is now and the 'proper' position?
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.
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.
On Jun 17, 10:27 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Hide quoted text -
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+
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
On 6/18/2013 7:03 AM, email@example.com 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
On Jun 17, 7:27 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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!
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
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