I’m about to tackle refinishing some parts of my basement.

When you walk down the stairs, there’s one switch that controls all the lights; I’d like to convert that to one switch per room.

Is it code-ok to run some romex to a switch from the light, leaving them all on the same circuit? one of the lights



Right, here's the current floor plan w/wiring. enter image description here

I was thinking I could:

  1. bypass the current switch that controls them all (by tying white and black wires in that box at the base of the stairs; this would save me some time, where I can reuse the wire that currently runs the length of the basement).
  2. use the now-hot source to wire a single-pole switch in each room, taking some 14-3 from the existing ceiling boxes down to each switch. (14-3 instead of 14-2 because of the capped-off neutral requirement 2011 NEC). Like so:

enter image description here

  • 2
    please draw a floor plan with the existing wiring ... draw a second floor plan with proposed wiring ... insert the two drawings into your post
    – jsotola
    Aug 15, 2020 at 18:16
  • 1
    Not enough information on what your current set up is. Where does power enter the circuit, switch or fixture? How many rooms, how many fixtures etc. ?
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 15, 2020 at 18:33
  • 1
    I think you're asking if it's OK to "break" some of the lights from the one switch and put them on their own switch. There's no problem with doing that, code wise (so long as you do code-compliant wiring). The main thing you'll probably have to contend with is that you've got power to all lights now from 1 place and you're going to have to run new supply lines from that one source location to each new set of lights/switch. Not a problem, but you'll have to sort it all out. The diagrams asked for will go a long way to getting you help in doing this.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 15, 2020 at 19:22
  • Right - added a floor plan w/current wiring! Creating a second to show what I'm thinking..
    – Saeven
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


I was about to say yes but if someone turned that switch off it would turn all the rooms lights off so if these are living spaces / finished rooms it would not be to code.

If you made that location hot all the time then broke all the rooms you could do that and it may not take much wiring depending on how your wires are run.

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