I recently purchased an old house. The switch in the living room has two 14/2 wires. One is the line to the breaker and the other is to three outlets on one wall. I checked and the switch is wired to each entire outlet and not just the top of the duplex. A cover plate is in the ceiling where I thought a ceiling fan was removed. When I removed the plate I found one single (hot) strand of 14/2 romex that was not in a box. Yikes!

I have since put the ceiling line in a box and rewired the box where the switch was so the outlets are always hot. My goal is to install an overhead light. Note: When the breaker to the outlets is off, the ceiling line is still hot. I traced the breaker of the ceiling light and have confirmed it is separate from the outlets. I am familiar with x10 modules, but am not finding any module that doesn't require a switch to the overhead (which I do not have).

Does anyone know of a way I can control the overhead light I would like to install? I'd like to use something other than a remote, but if a remote exists, I can fashion a switch where the other switch was mounted. I would not like to have a pull chain as the light is over a coffee table and would be inconvenient.

  • Can you pull a new 14/2 from the switch to the ceiling light? Jun 24, 2017 at 1:10
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    – SDsolar
    Jun 24, 2017 at 7:35
  • Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to fish a new 14/2 to the current switch because the way the joists run. I normally wouldn't mind rerocking the ceiling, but this ceiling has an awesome 1940's plaster design that I don't want to disturb. I believe I can make a remote switch work as long as I can put the switch module on the light itself.
    – D. Diane
    Jun 25, 2017 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you want to control the overhead light with a switch that's on a different circuit. You can use an "in-line" switch such as this one which fits inside the ceiling electrical box. You'll need a compatible wall switch to send the commands to the in-line switch which actually controls the load. There are probably a number of other technologies and manufacturers, I'm just using this as an example. If this is your first or only home automation project, you'll want to be sure both circuits are on the same 120 volt leg to be sure the signals get through.

  • Thank you. The in-line switch is what I am looking for. I always put the module behind the live switch to create another switch, but not on the fixture wiring itself before. I'm happy to know I can do that. I appreciate the help.
    – D. Diane
    Jun 25, 2017 at 16:38

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