Electrical Wiring

# Staircase Wiring Diagram – How to Control a Lamp from Two Places?

## How to Control One Lamp from Two Different Locations using 2-Way & 3-Way Light Switches?

Two Way Switch or Three Way Switch: “Three-way” is the North American (USA) term for this type of (SPDT) switch used in the following tutorial. Most English-speaking countries (UK/EU) call them “two-way”. The term for the pair of wires connecting the two switches also varies: “strappers” to the British – IEC and “travelers” to the US – NEC.

Please don’t kill me to mention it 2-Way switch instead of 3-Way switch and vice versa as whatever we have used is the same thing for a specific purpose.

In today’s basic electrical wiring installation tutorial, we will discuss the step by step method of staircase wiring installation by using SPDT (Single Pole Double Through Switch) also known as 3-way (US) or 2-way switches (UK). Also, the same wiring circuit diagram can be used for 2-way or 3-way lighting circuits or controlling electrical appliances from two or more different places by using two-way and three-way switches. The main purpose of a two way switching circuit is that the appliances can be ON / OFF independently from any switch, no matter whatever is the current position of the switch (either ON or OFF).

Related Wiring Diagrams:

### Staircase Wiring Circuit Diagram Connection – Controlling Bulb from Two Places

Below is an old-school staircase wiring circuit diagram. Here we can control a light bulb from two different places by using two number of 2-way switches.

### Working & Operation of Staircase Wiring – 2-Way & 3-Way Light Switching

Consider the above 2-way switch wiring diagram which has been used to control a bulb in staircase. The schematic shows that circuit is completed and bulb is ON. Suppose you want to OFF the bulb from the upper switch at top of stair ( (upper portion of staircase) ) simply Switch OFF the switch then circuit will break and the bulb will be OFF. To switch ON the bulb again, just switch ON the same switch at upper portion of staircase. In other words you can OFF and ON bulb from upper switch at the top of stair. Obviously; you can perform the same operation from the bottom switches installed in staircase.

Now, let’s see how we can do that from the other switch installed at the bottom of stair.

For this purpose, consider the figure given above. In this case, you can see that circuit is complete and bulb is ON. Suppose you want to OFF the bulb from the lower switch at bottom of stair. Simply OFF the switch, then again circuit will break and the bulb will be OFF. You can switch ON the bulb again to switch ON the same switch installed at the bottom or downstairs as shown in the fig.

Controlling a light bulb in the staircase wiring from two different locations using 3-way switches.

Controlling a light bulb in the staircase wiring from two different places using 2-way switches.

To get the switching position in ON condition for light bulb, the above operation is same as the Exclusive-NOR (X-NOR) logic gate truth table which is given below.

 Switch 1 Switch 2 Lamp Position 0 = OFF 0 = OFF 1 = ON 0 = OFF 1 = ON 0 = OFF 1 = ON 0 = OFF 0 = OFF 1 = ON 1 = ON 1 = ON

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### Two Way Switching using Three Wires –

It is the new 2-way switching connection method which can be used for staircase wiring as well as it is efficient as compared to the old-school method where 2 wires are used instead of three wires.

The current position of two way switching connection using three wires circuit is ON and the bulb is glowing. The circuit operation is same as mentioned in the above figures but the connection method is different as the first terminals of both switches are connected to the live (Phase) wire. The second terminals of both switches are connected to the bulb to provide live line supply while the Neutral is directly connected to the bulb as common wiring method.

This basic circuit is little confusing as by looking in it, it makes a short circuit (to the same wire which is not harm in this case) when both switches are ON or OFF which is making a loop to disconnect the live supply to the bulb, Hence, bulb will not glow in that case.

To get the switching position in ON condition for light bulb, the above operation is same as the Exclusive-OR (X-OR) logic gate truth table which is given below.

 Switch 1 Switch 2 Lamp Position 0 = OFF 0 = OFF 1 = OFF 0 = OFF 1 = ON 0 = ON 1 = ON 0 = OFF 0 = ON 1 = ON 1 = ON 1 = OFF

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### Staircase Wiring using Intermediate Switch (4-Way Switch)

This is not always the case, but in some cases like shared flats and long stairs, we may need to control the light point in staircase wiring from three different places by using two 2-way switches and an intermediate switch as shown in fig below.

Click image to enlarge

The following wiring diagram shows the same wiring configuration to control a lighting point from three different locations for both IEC and NEC codes.

Controlling a light bulb in the staircase wiring from three different places using 4-way switch and 3-way switches.

Click image to enlarge

Controlling a light point in the staircase wiring from three different locations using 3-way switch and 2-way switches.

Below is the same wiring diagram which shows how to control a light point (lamp) from three different places by using two, two-way switches  and one intermediate switch using the symbols.

Related Posts:

### 2-Way Switching Applications and Uses

• The main purpose of two-way switching or three-way switching connection is to connect and control home appliances and equipment from two separate locations.
• It is mostly used in staircase wiring where a light bulb can be controlled (Switch ON / Switch OFF) from different places, no matter if you are in the upper or lower portion of the stair. Also, it does not depend on the switches position as well. You just have to press the switch button to OFF / ON to perform the switching operation.
• It is also used in rooms, halls and large area premises which has two entry and exit gates.
• It is used to control any electrical (AC or DC) appliance or equipment like fan, light bulbs etc. from two different places.
• Some of the applications are hallway wiring, Hostel wiring, hospital wiring, tunnel wiring and godown wiring etc.

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### Electrical Technology

1. Ronak Patel says:

plzz xplain this diagrams….

1. Wasim Khan says:

Ronak Patel @ OK… We will add some description and simple explanation.

2. Ronak Patel says:

thanxxx …..

2. Ronak Patel says:

hey Wasim khan plzz add description immediately yar…….

1. Electrical Technology says:

Ronak Patel@ DONE

3. Ronak Patel says:

THNXXX.. BRO…

1. Electrical Technology says:

Welcome

2. Tarun says:

Hello sir I am Tarun wason from bhiwani Haryana . I an looking for electrical job i am completed diploma in electrical engineering . I am very work harder i give best in my work so please give me job

4. guru dutt says:

i also hav a same dia. but it look diffent frm urs

1. Electrical Technology says:

Lets share with us…thanx

5. Anonymous says:

THE DIAGRAM SHOWS A CONDUIT ENCLOSED PVC SINGLES STYLE WIRING IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WOULD BE TYPICALLY WIRED WITH TWIN AND EARTH CABLE, WHICH IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. I WOULD ARGUE THAT THIS DIAGRAM WOULD CONFUSE A D.I.YER.

1. Electrical Technology says:

No Dear…Don&#39;t Confuse with that kind of wring diagrams…<br />Its is not a layout…it is just a typical wiring diagram… So you can connect with earth cable..it is just showing only stair-case wiring diagram. not the whole wiring.

1. rao farhan says:

hy sir,my name is rao farhan am a diploma holder.now am working in dubai so i want to chang compani if you have ele tech job so plz tell me my uae exp is 3 year my number is 0552714041

6. Mike Sheldon says:

that method is outdated and we now use 3core and earth run between the two 2way switches,which means there is a single run of twin and earth from the ceiling rose(that is your feed and switch wire and an earth conductor to the first 2way switch,feed to l1,switch on l2,the 2way switches are then joined by 3core and earth…doing it the way shown can be to be done in conduit

1. Nat Gwapo says:

that&#39;s is not matter what kind of wire to be use 3 core or single wire the important is you know how to connect 2 way switch to ceiling rose or splicing it using electrical tape.

7. Anonymous says:

cool story bro, needs more dragons and shit<br />

8. Moazzam Shah Jee says:

Amazing Wiring..

9. Anonymous says:

sir i want to control stair bulb from 1st floor and from ground floor. 3 pin switches(at 1st floor and at ground floor) are already attached to board but i don&#39;t know how to connect wires.<br /><br />note:- there are 3 pins in the backside of the switch

1. Electrical Technology says:

Use the above Diagram

10. Francis Samba says:

I want to know if this idea can be implemented using logic diagram or rather built in the lab using bread board, logic gates or IC&#39;s. If there is any idea, please post the dia and description<br />

11. Anonymous says:

Damn thanks a lot, I couldn&#39;t figure this out.

12. Gavin Wong says:

Depending upon the prerequisites, men and women can place numerous buttons in addition to <a href="http://www.retrotouch.co.uk/&quot; rel="nofollow">screwless light switch</a> sockets on top of a utility circuit. You should do a few likely to ascertain wherever you should have these individuals previous to purchasing that.

13. paul white says:

The Diagrams are great, very informative. I just wanted to may be help clarify something with you. The switches in your diagrams are not 2way switches. they are 3way switches. There are 3 possible directions for current to go. If you go to get one from a parts store the box will also say 3 way switch. Hope this helps.

14. kashif hussain says:

when we have two lamps and 3 two way switches how we design it

15. Anonymous says:

this helped me with physics homework :)

16. Anonymous says:

Way to spend three paragraphs talking in circles in order to explain how to use a light switch before introducing a diagram of a three way switching system &amp; referring to it as two way.

17. Gloriane says:

This is the perfect way to break down this marination.

18. Ridip Hazarika says:

If I keep both the switch ON; will the bulb glow?

19. Lucky Joestar says:

Paul:

“Three-way” is the North American term for this type of switch. Most English-speaking countries call them “two-way.” The term for the pair of wires connecting the two switches also varies: “strappers” to the Brits and “travelers” to us Yanks.

20. mohd Danish Rajput says:

Surge wiring diagram

21. Shalinda says:

Thanks bro.

22. bhavesh patel says:

How work NO-NC connected contector with forward-reverse motor

23. sanjeevkumar says:

Thanks for expalining

24. Duryodhan Mohanta says:

How to control a lamp in both Series and Parallel by using a one Two way Switch

plz give me a video of this project because i have to make this project

26. S.Arun reddy says:

I want total conclusion about plc based staircase lightning

27. Jacob says:

Awesome . ???

28. Krishna says:

May i know the Drawing tool used to illustrate this.

29. Bhupendra beniwal says:

30. Ken89 says:

Hi ADMin , can you please give sample diagram for the ff:kind regards thanks
1) lamp A is controlled by switch A, while lamp B & C controlled by switch B&C(series)
2) lamp A&C are connected in series and controlled by switch A&C, while lamp B is parallel and controlled by switch B
3) lamp A&C are controled by switch A&C, while lamp B&D are connected in series controlled by switch B&D.

31. David Ninnis says:

Sir, I have a single light operated by two light switches.
Due to the plastering in my house I need to remove one of the light switches but still have the light operated by the other light switch.
How do I do this.

Thank you

1. Hi David,
Which type switch did you used? i.e. single way, two way, three way etc?

By the way, You can remove the other switch connections and use the single way switch for single light point. You can find the connection in our blog “Electrical Wiring” Section.

32. P Valappil Jagandas says:

How to control a water heater from 2 different places using DPDT switches With neon lamp indications?

1. Thank you. We will post a complete tutorial on water heater installation to control it from two different places using double pole double through switches.. Stay tune.

33. John Anderson says:

Thank you. I was wondering what is the logic behind the staircase lighting. You solve the puzzle for me.

34. zygryd says:

why would anybody use 3 wire cable if the job can be done with 2 wires? How is 3-wire (between switches) method newer and better except paying more for more copper?

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