# 3 Way Light Switch Circuit Diagram

By | March 17, 2023

Light switches are one of the most essential pieces of electrical hardware in any given home. On the surface, they may seem rather basic — a simple on/off toggle — but have you ever stopped to consider the complexity behind the scenes? We’ll explain it to you today via a comprehensive look at the 3-way light switch circuit diagram.

Essentially, a three-way circuit is a system of electrical wiring that depends on two different switches, wired into two separate locations, to turn on and off a particular light. Three-way circuits are most often used when two separate doors lead into a single room, as this allows each switch to turn the lights on and off from both entrances.

The key component in any three-way circuit is the switch. A two-way switch has two terminals, while a three-way switch has a total of four terminals — two dedicated to incoming "hot" currents and two dedicated to outgoing "load" currents. This allows the switch to create two paths of electricity, allowing the light to be turned on/off from both switches.

Other things to consider are the type of wire being used for the circuit. Romex and NM-B 14/2 wiring is recommended for most three-way circuits. Many electrical codes will also require ground wires to be added to the circuit, so make sure you research your local codes before beginning any electrical project.

By understanding the power of three-way circuits — and how to properly wire them — you can add convenience and control to your home’s electrical system, allowing multiple points of entry to control the same set of lights. With a few simple tools, some basic wiring knowledge, and our three-way light switch circuit diagram, you’ll be ready to tackle any electrical project with confidence.

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