I have a two switch box with a single light on one switch and a ceiling fan and two separate lights on the second switch. There are 5 sets of wires coming into the box with one being the main feed. I want to separate the fan and two lights onto their own switch each... The way it is currently wired is a little confusing. All white wires are twist cap together as well as all the grounds. The black wires are what is confusing... there is black coming into the bottom and top of each switch. Can anyone provide a diagram of what the wiring should look like for the four switch configuration?

  • Can you provide a diagram or pictures of what you have now?
    – mmathis
    May 19, 2017 at 16:55
  • @DanielEvans 5 sets of wires, 1 double switch (Light and Fan), 2 Lights on a switch. [3 switches] yet you have 5 wire sets (are you positive you have 5 wire sets? AND only ONE line In feed? ). Clarify how the wires are connected to the switch that controls the 2 lights. Something seems odd. Re-reading your question I am thinking you have two main feed lines [1 for your ceiling fan/light, and 1 for your 2 lights. This is very important you verify what you have .
    – Ken
    May 20, 2017 at 2:48

2 Answers 2


To clear up your confusion, have a look at a basic light circuit. Two blacks on the switch is very common:

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You probably can't separate the lights without running additional cables. They're connected in a string, and you can't switch them independently unless the hot for each passes through the switch box.

enter image description here

  • the op states: 5 sets of wires, 1 double switch (Light and Fan), 2 Lights on a switch. [3 switches] yet he has 5 wire sets. Which seems a bit strange for what he describes you would think only 4 wire sets. Based on his description I can see why you stated he might have to run another wire set (but he seems to have that already) and I understand why you put the multiple lights picture up. I think the op will need to either accept an answer or clarify his question.
    – Ken
    May 20, 2017 at 2:41
  • Thanks for the replies and suggestions... I did have to run another set of wires and had to take out 4 feet of dry wall to do it... but have it all patched up now. May 21, 2017 at 16:02
  • Please provide and accept an answer or delete your question so this post can be resolved.
    – isherwood
    May 21, 2017 at 19:19

All white wires are twist cap together as well as all the grounds. This is normal.

The black wires are easy the first is the main feed - you will need to feed a black wire from each Switch Line In to the next Switch Line In [Also referred to as Daisy Chaining].

The below is an example - the order of what is a light and what is a fan does not matter.

Light Connection wiring

  • Electricaly, pitch perfect. Mechanically though, daisy chaining switches is hard. They generally don't have 2 wires per terminal (except Leviton and competitor screw-and-clamp types do). You'll either need to use those, or do some fancy mid-wire insulation stripping, or bring a bottom wire off each switch and pigtail them to the line in. May 19, 2017 at 21:01
  • @Harper all the recent ones I have seen have both the terminal and push in connections. Maybe I am just accustomed to it now and thought all manufacturers did that as a standard. I guess I will need to make sure I pay close attention when I am buying them.
    – Ken
    May 20, 2017 at 2:32
  • They only have 1 terminal or 1 backstab. You're not supposed to use both at once, one binding system or the other. And besides, it's pretty much the consensus around here that backstabs shouldn't be used at all, because they have a disturbingly high failure rate, not to mention they are not legal with either stranded or 12AWG wire. May 20, 2017 at 3:19
  • 1
    Thanks for the reply... I figured it out... one of the sets of wires coming into the switch box, I had assumed was one of the three lights, was actually an outlet which needed to be wired for always hot. Turns out the wires for that light were ran from one of the other light's receptacle box. Found out, after I had wired everything like you have above, when my outlet wouldn't work unless I had the switch on. That was a quick fix... just moved that black to the always hot side of the switch. That's what happens when you can't see through walls... lol May 21, 2017 at 15:53
  • @DanialEvans if you feel this is the answer - please click on the number area to mark as answer .
    – Ken
    May 22, 2017 at 2:42

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