2 lights on same circuit controlled by 2 switches

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by lynams, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. lynams

    lynams New Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    I have a 3 switch plate on my wall. One switch is for an indoor light switch ( 3 wire, as there are 2 on the same line). The other 2 switches are two separate outdoor light fixtures. I am replacing 2 outdoor (motion sensor) light fixtures that are controlled by 2 switches. Originally, the two lights were connected together by a very thin, 3-connector(?) flat cable which is also being replaced. The first light when replaced by itself worked, but when I turned both switches on it now stops working. I am still trying to get the first one (closer to the switch) to work.
    The old flat cable did not have colored wires, didnot help me with how the two lights were connected, except the middle wire was wired around the cable itself, or not used.
    How do I make sure I have them connected right and both to operate?
  2. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet In the Trades

    Sep 7, 2009
    Seattle. WA
    You look at the installation instructions that came with the fixtures!
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Thin flat wires are not typical for line voltage. WIthout being there, it's hard to say if the original installation was correct.

    Basically, if one light works, you'd parallel the wires (black/white/ground or hot/neutral/ground) from one to the other. Thin, flat wires may be low-voltage control cable from the remote sensor to the light fixture, not power.

    Hard to say without being there.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    From your description, we do not know if those are even "3 way switches", or how you are wiring the lights and switches together. WE would need a lot more information to even try to diagnoes the problem.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    Is this three switches in one box or what?
    Three wire? Is this one black one white and one bare and two what on the same line and what is the line?
    If the two lights were on two different switches why would the very thin three conductor be doing between these two fixtures that are on two different switches?
    If it worked why are you still trying to get it to work?
    Again why were these two connected together if they were on two different switches?
    Maybe if you could post pictures of the switches we could help but your post doesn’t make any sense.
    Your welcome
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