I have an existing 3 way light switch in the basement with a 3 way switch at the bottom and the top of the stairs with 3 cans in the basement hallway. We would like to add some lights to the stairwell and I'm not sure the best place to try and run the wire from.

First switch connects to power, switch then runs to the bottom of the stairs where it connects to another switch. From there the switch is connected to 3 chained can lights.

My question is, can a light be added off of the first switch that also chains to the second switch?

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  • No, the second light needs to have a connection to the "common" wire coming out of the second switch, which is current connected to the light. Can you fish some 12-2 cable between the two lights? Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


Not without re-running the cable between the switches

Right now, there's no switched hot at the first switch, just a hot, a neutral, and two travelers. You'd need to replace the existing cable between the switches with a 12/4 to get a switched hot to the first switch from the second. At that point, you might as well instead run a cable to the 2nd switch box, or to the light box for that matter.


You show the 2 switch boxes connected with 12-3 with ground. Wrap the exposed ground in box 2 with black tape and connect it with the black to the light (2) and a short black pigtail . Connect the pigtail to the single pull of switch 2. In box 1 , wrap the exposed ground with black tape and connect it to the back to light 1 . Connect all 3 whites in that box 1 togather .

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