My garage lights are controlled by a single switch inside my house. I wanted to add 2 more lights and have them controlled by an existing switch in my garage that currently powers an outside light. I removed that switch yesterday to begin adding my new circuit, when I noticed that the switch has 2 circuits already coming off of it. One is the outdoor light that I knew about, and the other runs to the existing lights the garage that are only powered by the switch in my house. Is this normal? Can I still add another circuit as I had planned? And can a switch provide constant power to lights that are controlled from a different switch?

  • Does the outside light work when the garage lights are turned off from inside the house? Power may not flow the way you think it does, here, but it's easy to check that.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 12:58
  • Yes, oddly enough. That outdoor light works with its only switch anytime, and the garage lights work only with the indoor switch, but neither switch effects the other's circuits.
    – BigLake
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


Given that the outside lights on this switch are not controlled by the inside switch, there is constant power (unswitched hot) available at this location, and presumably the inside switch that controls the other lights is a switch loop, not their power source. So, you should be able to add more lights on another switch - you just need to correctly identify the unswitched hot supply at this switch location.

  • So then could I just install a double pole switch, keep all the current wires in their current configuration, then add my new circuit to the second pole? And in this case, would all the neutrals still be pigtailed together?
    – BigLake
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:09
  • That does not appear to be what you described wanting. A double-pole switch would mean both things switched at the same time (and you could get that by just adding to the connection to the outside light switched hot with the switch you have.) What you appear to have asked about would be another, separate, single-pole switch fed from the unswitched hot. Neutrals together, yes.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:16
  • Sorry about the confusion, what I wanted to do was just add another circuit from that switch in the garage, whether it turned on both the outdoor light and my new garage lights, or working independently, doesn't matter to me. I was just thrown off by the extra wires that I found, and not knowing how to add my new circuit. It's getting cold out so I have plenty of time to do whatever is needed
    – BigLake
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:23

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