I have power coming in SW1 and leaving SW1 is a 12/3 wire. I have 6 lights connected serially in between SW1 and SW2. (black to black, white to white, red to red, etc) and the lights are connected to the blacks and whites accordingly.

How do I get the 3 way switches working?

The red is the only wire not connected to anything else along the way.

  • How does your scenario vary from this diagram (aside from number of lights)?
    – isherwood
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 16:24
  • Also, if your fixtures are actually connected in series (maybe not what you meant), the voltage drop will probably result in no light being emitted. Perhaps you meant in parallel, but in a series.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


Go to a smart switch

You just don't have enough wires to pull off a traditional 3-way connection, as you need 2 messengers and you only have space for one.

Typically you put the smart switch master in the first location, and the smart switch remote in the second location. Most will want a communication wire, and you can use the red wire for that.

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