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Wiring Diagram for bedroom needed. I will have one ceiling fan with light controlled by a three way switch then from the ceiling fan unit need power for two independent switches to control led light strips in two seperate closets. attached below is what I am thinking but I need advice / second opinion on the best and code compliant method to wire this room. I have access from attic to drop down wires where need be. I need closet lights to be able to come on or off regardless of whether or not the ceiling fan light is on or off. Need help as soon as possible with any ideas. All lighting will be LED and eventually be using a smart home system. thanks for your cooperation and assistance in advance. enter image description here

  • FWIW you should have posted your image rotated 180 degrees from what you have to make it easier to read. I didn't notice door #2 until just now - so in my diagram, the "inside" 3-way switches are the ones at door #2. – FKEinternet Mar 25 '18 at 9:38
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You only have always-on power at the first switch (the 3-way by the door). At the fan/light, you only have switched power, controlled by the two 3-way switches. So, you need to run a 14/2 connected to the power coming from the panel (at the switch by the door) to the two closet switches to supply them with power.

You need two wires to have an electrical circuit - "hot" (black in house wiring) and "neutral" or "return" (white in house wiring). When you wire a 3-way switch, you need an additional wire connecting the two switches: The neutral wire is always connected, and the switches choose which of the two other wires to make the hot leg of the circuit. When both switches are connected to the same wire, the load gets power (the light/fan comes on), when they are connected to different wires, the load is switched off because there isn't a complete circuit.

You could have an "always on" circuit at the light/fan, but you would need to run 14/4 - four conductors - between the two 3-way switches - neutral, plus the always-on hot lead, plus the two switched wires. Then, from the second 3-way switch (the one connected to the light/fan), you would run 14/3 to the fixture, with neutral (white), hot (black) and switched (red). At the fixture, you would connect neutral and switched to the light/fan to supply it with switched power, and you'd have the neutral and hot leads to continue to other uses, such as your closet lights.

That's not the way I would do it, though: As I said, run a 14/2 to supply your closet lights, tapping off the mains at the 3-way by the door. That avoids having to use 14/4 altogether, and you only need 14/2 going from the second 3-way to the fixture - neutral and a (switched) hot lead.

Referring to your diagram, instead of having a 14/2 going from the ceiling fixture to closet #2, have a 14/2 going from closet #1 to the switch by the door. There, as I said, connect the new 14/2 to the wires coming from the panel for power. No other changes are required from your plan.


Actually, you don't need two 14/3s, you only need one 14/3, plus a 14/2, going between the two 3-way switches because you don't need two neutral wires:

Wiring schematic showing 14/3 plus 14/2 between 3-way switches

In this diagram, the blue lines represent the neutral (white) wires - which wouldn't show up well if they were white lines :) The selection of whether to use red or black to connect the light and fan hot leads between the inside 3-way switches and the fixture is arbitrary - pick one that works. As you can see, the white wire in the 14/3 between the 3-way switches is the neutral. Assignment of the other four wires is also somewhat arbitrary, just be sure you have the switches connected in matched pairs.

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Nope, you can't continue off the fan because you won't have always-hot and neutral there. Keep in mind circuits are a tree topology, not a vine. Branch off switch 1, then do one of two things:

  • Bring always-hot and neutral to switch 2 then to switch 4 on 14/2 cable. Branch switched-hot and neutral from each switch to each lamp in 14/2.
  • Bring always-hot and neutral to lamp 2 then lamp 4 with 14/2. From each lamp, bring always-hot, switched-hot and neutral to each corresponding switch using 14/3.
  • One of one, and one of the other.

Whichever is easier / most economical of cable / allows for continued extension of the circuit.

  • Thank you for your reply but I am not very clear on your answer due to the mention of switch 4 and lamp 2 etc. is there anyway you could draw me a quick sketch of what your thinking or markup what I have provided. If I am reading what you said correctly I beleive you mean to do my three way switch setup for the ceiling fan and light as I show in my diagram but for the 2 separate closets that would have their own switched led light strip I would have to run a 14/2 wire from switch at door # 1 to the first closet switch then from closet switch # 1 run 14/3 to closet #2 switch, is that correct? – Timberframer Mar 25 '18 at 1:23

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