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I'm in the process of replacing some of the light switches in my house with smart switches, Wemo Light Switches in this case. I've had no problem with the replacement of my One-way switches (SPST I think), however I have a pair of Two-way switches (SPDT) that controls a single light fixture. As their documentation states

Please note that the WeMo Light Switch is not compatible with lights controlled by more than one switch...

So it looks like my best option is to convert the Two-way switch into a One-way switch. I'm happy to lose one of the control points, however I'm not sure what the proper way to make this conversion is. I expect to a have a single smart switch controlling the system, that will replace both previous switches. Based on some wikipedia diagrams it looks like it is obvious path is to short circuit wires at the point where I remove one of the switches. However, seeminlty obvious isn't alwyas the right choice. How should a Single Pole Double Throw be converted to a Single Pull Single Throw?

Attaced are photos of the current wiring.

Switch "A" circled in to be removed

Switch "A" circled in to be removed

Wiring box "A"

Wiring box "A"

Switch "B" to be replaced with smart switch

Switch "B" to be replaced with smart switch

  • Can you post photos of the wiring at each switch box and the light box? Also, do you want "smart" control at both locations, or only one? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 10 '16 at 16:53
  • Done. I want to replace the two switch system with one switch, I've also added photos of the switch wiring. However, I'm unable access the light box at this time as it would require a second set of hands on account of it being part of a ceiling fan assembly. – rheone Dec 10 '16 at 17:35
  • Can you get me a better lit photo of the inside of box A? Also, are you sure that Code doesn't require control of the light from both locations? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 10 '16 at 17:37
  • I've added a detail photo. Admittedly I don't know what code would be. I wasn't even aware removing a 2-Way switch would be pertinent. I'm not sure were to look such things up either as a laymen. – rheone Dec 10 '16 at 17:46
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    These switches control lighting for a room, not a staircase, correct? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 10 '16 at 17:55
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The double switch device is just two single-pole single-throw switches packaged together for space saving, it is not a double throw switch.(they are marked "on" and "off" if my eyes are correct, double throw do not say on and off.)

I think you may have your circuits a bit mixed up.

Switch box B and the left [single switch] in Box A are three-way switches(SPDT). The three way switches would both be part of one device circuit and the one way switches would each be independent of the both the three-way and of each other. It appears the original installer was a bit sloppy with the color coding but that isn't a huge deal. (whites used as hots should be well marked with wraps of black or red tape near the ends) If you want to put the new switch in box B then you will need to rewire the light fixture as it appears power from the A three way was run through the light box to Switch B then back to the lamp and home again. You will end up with a spare conductor on each leg, just cap them with wire nuts in all three boxes.

Right now power comes in on the black wire of the black screw on threeway-A then power goes out on red and black from the brass terminals(alternately depending on switch up or down but always exactly one is hot) these 2 along with the neutral white goes to the lamp box and the white is connected to the lamp and the other two appear to be connected with the black and white of Switch-B and the red wire of switch B connected to the Lamp. Personally if you want the new switch in box B I would use Black and white from A to the lamp box and black and red from the lamp box to B; with blacks tied together in the lamp box, white as neutral from the lamp and Red from the switch to the lamp.

  • "The double switch device is just two single-pole single-throw switches packaged together..." Look again, there are two screws on the left side of the upper device. The black and white are travelers, but I can't tell what is feeding the common screw on the other side. – Nicknamednick May 8 '18 at 18:12
  • Yes, the lower switch certainly is marked on/off, but you're right the upper has contacts for three way and I can't make out any on/off markings. – Max Power Jun 19 '18 at 9:49
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There are now 3 and 4 way smart switches on the market. WEMO or Belkan does not have one. The downside is that all of them require some sort of hub. For example, here is a "Smart Lighting Control" by GE.

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It is hard to tell from your pictures which wire is feeding the copper colored (common) screw on the upper switch on the right in box A, but it appears you will simply need to tie that wire in with the black wire on its opposite side, tie the white wire below it in with the neutral wire(s) for the light, then in box B, connect the white wire to the smart switch where it calls for neutral. Still in Box B, treat the black wire as the hot or "line" side (which it will be if things are as they appear--again very hard to discern from your pictures) and the red as the switch leg or "load" side on your new switch.

One of the commenters above asked if this is for a light over a staircase. NEC rules in 210.70(A)(2)(c) pertain: "Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level, and landing level that includes an entryway, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between floor levels has six risers or more." There is also an exception given to the wall switch requirement if you use an automatic means to control these lights. Most people interpret this as multi-way switching required at each floor level to control stairway lighting.

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You can but mine have all broken use a one way smart switch to use in a two way the problem comes in the app and use of the switch. The app will not know if it is on or off due to their hardware. They know make paired switches designed for lights controlled from 2 switches.

As far as having those 2 single switches on one as long as the amps/voltage don't overpower your switch selection you can wire them to one switch.

The single switch will require you to add a white signal wire that you have bundled in your box. This is as simple as taking the new white wire and adding it to the grouped wires inside.

I know this post is old but smart switches have changed since 2016 so i thought i would update. I would recommend a three way switch for three way use. And they do make smart switches with 2 single switches just like what you have now. Just smart.

If these control an outlet you may just make the outlet smart and wire the switch to always on as a second option.

Any way I'm sure you are long done with this project, but I hope it helps someone new.

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's hard to understand what you mean; would you edit the answer to be a bit clearer? Thanks. – Daniel Griscom Apr 7 at 1:36

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