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Residential Wiring - The Right Way!
Electrical Wiring and Safety
Basic Switch Circuit
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Wiring a basic switch circuit is by far more simple in complexity compared to other types of circuits. Basic switch circuits can be used to control one or more lighting fixtures from one location only although they can be used to switch an outlet or half an outlet. Basic switch circuits are usually suitable for bedrooms and bathrooms (that has only one entrance door) or any other room that has only one path of travel in and out of the room or area, and the switch itself is usually located near the entrance door to the room.
In the case of a staircase or a light in the middle of a long hallway, some kind of 3 way circuit would be recommended so that the fixture can be control at both the top and bottom of the staircase or both ends of a long hallway.
Under certain circumstances where the area is massive and more than 2 travel paths are available in and out of the area, some kind of 4 way switch circuit for convenience sake could be considered.
For half outlet switched options you should refer to the article 'Outlet, half switched' on this website.
For information on wiring multiple fixture you should refer to the article 'Multiple Fixtures' on this website.
If this is a new circuit and you need to wire directly to the electrical panel then also read the article called 'Main electrical panel' found on this website.
If you have any questions or need further clarification please ask our experts on our forums.
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Revised: June 19, 2013
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Donald Kerr / Wiring Done Right