I have a light at the bottom of my stairs with a 3 way switch at the top and bottom. I want to know if I can just run some wiring off of the switch at the top of the stairs to a second light bulb?

I have attached some pictures showing the switch at the top of the stairs. Can I just run two wires off of this switch to a light bulb (may not even put the light bulb in a casing...would that be okay?)?

I've also attached a picture of the wire I have. I think it is 14 gauge.

Any additional information you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. I hope this isn't too much work.

Can I just run a wire from the existing bulb/light fixture to the top of the stairs, like the picture below?

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  • 1
    Is there a reason you don't want to go from light fixture #1 (the existing one) to light fixture #2 (new)? And the wire you have would need to go in conduit, plus you'd have to have a 15A breaker. (20A breaker and 14awg wire = bad.) Oct 3, 2020 at 23:24
  • Can you post photos looking into the back of the boxes involved please? Oct 4, 2020 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


If those three wires are the only ones in the junction box, then you're out of luck. The red wire and the black wire are travelers going to the other switch. The white wire appears to be connected to the black, common, screw so it's going to be a switched hot going to your light at the bottom of the stairs. There is no always hot or a neutral so adding a new light is a no go. Can you run wire from your existing light to the additional location?

  • 1
    you mean from the existing lamp?
    – Jasen
    Oct 4, 2020 at 3:57
  • @JACK Yes I can run wire from the existing light to the new location. It will just right along the ceiling to the wall, then along the wall to the stairs and up the stairs to the top.
    – eyeScream
    Oct 4, 2020 at 18:43
  • 1
    @eyeScream The wires would have to be protected with the appropriate conduit or wire channel. You can't just staple them up there.
    – JACK
    Oct 4, 2020 at 19:06
  • @eyeScream -- can you please post photos showing the backs of the boxes involved? Oct 4, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    I would probably go surface mounted Chanel, also make sure that light is on a 15 amp breaker before using the 14gauge wire.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 5, 2020 at 16:38

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