I am planning to install a wyze security camera at the top of a staircase. There is a light switch right there I can draw from. Was thinking about wiring a romex from the light switch to the ceiling. But then how do I plug to the camera ? External outlet ? What is a clean solution so that people cannot see all the connection if they look up ? Thanks! enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 2
    Many switches don't have enough wires in the cable to attempt this. To get an accurate answer please post a picture of the wires in the junction box or a complete description of number of wires and what's connected to what. Also what model of camera? Jul 4, 2020 at 14:22
  • An understandable but incorrect layman’s assumption is that if a light switch is “there’s a light switch there, so there must be power”. Actually that’s not true in about half of cases. Switches don’t actually need power, they only require the half of power that they switch - without the other half, useless. Jul 4, 2020 at 15:53
  • Can you post photos of the inside of the switch box in question please? Jul 4, 2020 at 17:09
  • Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. I just posted the picture. Let me know if that could work. Thanks!
    – Lou
    Jul 6, 2020 at 19:05
  • Can you get us a clearer shot of what that yellow wirenut is doing? Jul 7, 2020 at 11:48

3 Answers 3


It looks like the white wire may be a neutral. This is good.

However, it looks like the switch is a 4 way switch (though I always though 3 way switches were used at the top of the stairs). This is less good -- there's no consistent hot leg on it.

You can verify both of these with a multimeter.

So I don't think this box is going to help you much, as you need to have constant power and neutral to power an outlet.

  • Thanks for the help! I appreciate. It's at the top of the first staircase. There is a second staircase and light switch turns off lights in all staircase (1 light at each level: ground floor, middle and top floor). I played with it last night but couldn't get any electricity indeed. I didn't have my multimeter with me though. I kinda gave up. For now, I just ran an extension cord and plug it to an outlet inside. Ugly but working ...
    – Lou
    Jul 8, 2020 at 0:06

If you want a Wyze cam there, and there's no power (won't be from just a light switch), you could get the new Wyze outdoor cam that's battery powered.

(Obviously won't help if you absolutely, simply must use an existing wired Wyze cam.)

  • They are out of stock for now ... Will get one for the backyard soon :-)
    – Lou
    Jul 8, 2020 at 17:19

I used an Edison bulb light socket adapter (one example here: https://www.leviton.com/en/products/1403-i), and simply plugged the camera in below the bulb. The wire was neatly attached to the wall with u-clips, and the excess was coiled around the camera.

Total cost was quite low, and required zero wiring.

  • Oh nice ! That looks like a good way to go. But when you turn the light off (with the light switch) it doesn't turn the camera off as well ?
    – Lou
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:46
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    Yes, it would turn the camera off as well. However, you could replace the light fixture with one of these, and just use the pull chain. If you leave the switch on (tape it so no one accidentally turns it off), the socket will be continuously powered, yet you can turn the light on and off. homedepot.com/p/…
    – Huesmann
    Jul 7, 2020 at 13:58
  • I like it. That could have been a great solution actually. In my case, the light switch controls 3 lights for the entire staircase and those lights are controlled by another light switch. I can't really isolate one specific light. I will have to pass on this idea then.
    – Lou
    Jul 8, 2020 at 1:48
  • You didn't mention it was a 3-way switch. Depending how your 3-ways are wired, it may be possible to tap off one of them for an outlet into which you could plug your cam. Do a Google search for 3-way switch wiring diagrams, and then see what wiring you have at each of your switches (obv turn off the breaker first!). Can you determine that you have line power at one of them?
    – Huesmann
    Jul 9, 2020 at 16:20

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