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Hi, I have a 4-way switched light in my entryway. I am hoping to install a 3 way smart switch for this light and cap off one of the switches.

Referencing the attached picture, I am hoping to replace the 4-way switch (middle) with one smart switch. In the setup, I am unsure with switch goes to the light, but would like to replace one of the 3-switches with the other smart switch, and not use the 3rd switch.

first, do I need to figure out which switch goes directly to the light to even try this?

second, in the setup below, am I able to replace the middle 4 way switch with a 3-way switch, and if so, I am unsure what to the wires, as all the screws are the same color and I don't which are load and which are traveler.

third, for the switch that I no longer want to use, do I have to remove the switch and cap off the wires (if so how do I cap off)?

It seems like if I wanted to replace the the switch on the left and the switch on the right, it would be easier, and then I would just join like colored wires in the middle switch to cap off, but location wise, it makes most sense to change the middle switch.

Thanks for the help!

  • What make and model of smart switch are you looking at using? Also, can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 22 '18 at 20:13

Right now you have two 3-way switches. According to the diagram, one of them has only one cable coming into the box. That is the switch not connected directly to the light, and is the easiest to abandon. Remove that single cable from both boxes and abandon the wires, capped and taped, folded back inside the wall. Remove the 3-way switch and box. Patch the drywall.
Now the box with the 4-way switch has only one wire coming into it. Remove the 4-way and put in the 3-way smart switch. According to the diagram, the red and black wires are the traveling wires, and the white is the common lead. Note if your actual configuration is same or different. Both the smart switch and the original 3-way should have labels for common wire and traveling wires. The two traveling wires can be swapped either way with no bad effect.
If you want to abandon the other 3-way, you cannot remove or cover the box. You must remove the switch, rewire the circuitry, and install an approved cover plate.

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