I want to wire two different kitchen lights on two different switches using 14/3. Black hot for pendant lighting and red hot for recessed lighting. Grounds and neutrals will be connected all together in a j box. All on same breaker. Or is it better to run two 14/2 wires for each light?


1 Answer 1


Running the 14/3 is the easiest way from the switch box to the first light junction box. From that junction box to the junction box for the other set of lights you'd only need 14/2. If the junction boxes for the two different types of lights are far apart, then two 14/2 cables would be the way to go. Either way is good so use the wire you have.

  • Do the colors of a wire need to be changed to do this?
    – Orbit
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 14:13
  • @Orbit Nope. If running 14/3, both the black and red wires will be switched hots.
    – JACK
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 14:19
  • Thanks for the clarification. I'm from Europe, so I thought the 3 poles would be Ground, neutral and hot.
    – Orbit
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 14:41
  • @Orbit AFAIK the use of the "/2" and "/3", along with the indication of Black and Red for hots is a very strong indicator for North America and the US in particular. UK would use "twin-core" for our "/2", I'm not sure what they'd use for a "/3" or what the EU would call those.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 15:03
  • @Freeman: I think I'm still a bit confused by the names. So /2 means 2 poles excl ground? In Europe we use the names 3 pole and 5 pole, this includes ground though. 3 pole has ground, neutral and phase, 5 pole has this too, plus 2 switched hot. Probably 4 pole exists too, but I've never seen a building supply store who sells it.
    – Orbit
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 13:34

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