I am adding 2 lights with 2 separate switches on one circuit. There are also 2 outlets that need to be hot at all times on the same circuit. What would be the best order to wire these and can someone diagram this for me? This is for a workshop where these are in 2 separate rooms beside each other. I have included a diagram showing the placement.


  • Note that with modern electric codes, the switches need a hot and neutral as well. By "best order" do you mean the most cost effective or the easiest to wire/follow? – JPhi1618 Mar 19 '18 at 20:43
  • I meant the latter--easiest to wire/follow that would pass inspection. – user83723 Mar 20 '18 at 0:49

I can't make a diagram, but I will try to describe it the best I can.. I'm assuming a 15A circuit using 14ga wire, but if it's a 20A, use all 12ga wire. All wire has a ground, but I'm not mentioning that. Just tie all the grounds together in each box and connect it to the switch or receptacle as the case may be.

From the power source, run 14/2 to the first light. From the first light, run 14/3 to the first switch and 14/2 to the second switch. Run 14/2 from the first switch to the first outlet. At the first switch, tie the whites and blacks together and run a black pigtail to one screw on the switch. Connect the red wire from the 14/3 to the other screw.

At the first light, tie all the whites (including the fixture) together, and tie the two blacks (NOT the fixture) together. Connect the red wire from the 14/3 to the black wire of the light fixture. Switch 1 will now control the hot leading to that light.

From the second switch, run 14/2 to the second light and the second outlet. Connect the incoming black to the black that goes to the outlet and run a pigtail to one screw on the switch. Connect the black going to the light to the other screw switch. Tie all the whites together at switch 2. Connect the second light fixture, white to white, black to black.

Of course, both outlets are black to brass screw, and white to silver screw.

Use a nice deep box for light 1 since it will have 3 cables going to it since electric code does specify how many wires can be inside of a box based on size. Celing boxes can have more room to work inside of which is why I would use light 1 as the "junction" rather than having the main power go to switch 1 first.

  • JPhi1618, I understand this just fine and have finished it. However, I have decided to place an outlet before everything coming from the source (breaker). I still connect the line to the bottom terminals and the 14/2 that goes to the 1st light is attached to the load terminals, right? – user83723 Apr 11 '18 at 16:07
  • You say line and load so I’m assume you are installing a GFCI outlet? If you want the lights and switches protected, then yes, hook them up to the load terminals. – JPhi1618 Apr 11 '18 at 17:06
  • yes, but what if I decide to change to a regular duplex outlet. Does it matter which terminals the source is connected to and the line leading to the first light? – user83723 Apr 11 '18 at 17:42
  • The two screws on a regular outlet are connected by a simple metal bar, so it doesn’t matter which you use for line and load. – JPhi1618 Apr 11 '18 at 17:45
  • ok, that's what I thought. Just wanted to be sure. Thanks for all your help. – user83723 Apr 11 '18 at 18:01

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