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How To Run Two Lights From One Switch

Q: I am going to build a new garage and am planning my electrical wiring.

What my plan will be is to wire a circuit to include the following:

Run a #14 -2 wire from the sub panel box to a device box for a plug receptacle, then to a light box (octagon box), and then to another light box (octagon box) and finally to another two device boxes for plug receptacles.

What I want to do is have both lights work off the same switch.

I know that if I was to run a light switch to only one light I would connect the black wire from the switch via the light box (octagon box) directly onto the light fixture gold terminal and the white wire from the supply cable i.e.: (coming from the device box for the plug receptacle via the sub panel) to the silver terminal on the light holder.

The white wire that is connected to the switch will then connect with the black wire coming from the supply cable from the plug receptacle.

I realize now that the white wire at the switch is now (hot). I would also connect my ground wires to the switch box, octagon box, and device box.

My question is I want to run both lights off the same switch, so from this first light box that I just wired what wire cable do I use to go to the next light box (, octagon box) and then to the next two device boxes for the plug receptacles?

Do I use a three wire cable between the two lights ? Or do I have to run a three wire cable from the switch instead of a two wire cable?

From the second light to the next two plug boxes would I use # 14 two wire cable again? This is where I am lost.

I would appreciate your assistance in helping me out, Thanks.

Roger C.

A: The quick answer here is this.

To wire this circuit in this manner, you will need to run a #14/3 between the two light boxes.

This will allow you to connect the first light as you described above, and to run this additional light from the same switch by utilizing the red conductor in the 3-wire as the “switched” conductor, and the black wire as the continuous hot wire.

Confused yet? A picture is always worth a thousand words. Refer to the following diagram for a visual.

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  • chris.kakingo

    am an electricain i want to learn more

  • eddie dominguez

    i have a project that iam about to start i want to run two different lights from on switch that turn on each light by its self with one feed is there any kind of switch for this

  • Vinman22

    The wire size depends on your load and what Amp rating breaker you will be using.
    Load being maximum watts of all devices on that circuit at 80%. Amp rating for breaker would be maximum watts divided by voltage supply IE; 120vac.
    So, if your breaker was 20amps- your max amps of all devices should not exceed 16 amps. Get my drift?  12 gauge wire is typically rated at 20 amps, 14 gauge is 15 amps,ETC.

    • The Internet Electrician

      You are partially correct here, just not sure how it applies to this particular Q & A?

    • Anonymous

      You are partially correct with all this, but I’m not sure how it pertains to this particular Q & A?

  • Joe

    I will be wiring pairs of LED lights to a single switch on the front and back of my vehicle.  Even though they are low amp draw, is it okay to still go with a 18 gauge wire to be on the safe side?  when two lights are wored to sync with each other, do I need one ground for both lights on the single switch, or do I need two separate gorunds?  thanks in advance

 

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