I am needing to swap out a traditional switch for an occupancy sensing switch (Lutron Maestro MS-OPS5MH) on one side of a three way circuit. Its going into a long (dark) hallway. The house and wiring are fairly old, I'd say the house was built in late 60's but I'm not sure. I opened up the switches and see three wires for each switch. two black and one white. Each switch has two light brass screws and one dark(reddish) brass screw. The light colored set each has one white and one black respectively, the other black wire is on lower, dark brass screw. The Lutron switch has 5; white, blue, bare wire (ground) and two black.

I made an attempt to wire this up based on the diagrams and instructions, but to no avail.

I'm attaching photos of the current switches:

switch 1 switch 1 internals switch 2 switch 2 internals

I need to place the occupancy detector where switch 2 is. So the end result would be: Leave the current switch (1) where it is, and have the occupancy switch at switch 2. This switch happens to be near bedrooms, so when a person passes by the switch will come on.

  • that looks pretty messed up. some more detail of what's in thew elecrical box at each end, and what you want for the final result would help.
    – Jasen
    Apr 5, 2022 at 6:50
  • 1
    Can you post photos of the insides of the light fixture boxes involved please? Apr 5, 2022 at 11:43
  • @ThreePhaseEel More images added, and (hopefully) more details about desired outcome
    – ricardoom
    Apr 5, 2022 at 13:45
  • @ricardoom can you get us a photo of the wiring in the ceiling box please? Apr 5, 2022 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Sorry, but you can't there from here! What you have are "switch legs" in both boxes. I would assume the major "plumbing" (connections for power and to the switch legs are in the fixture box. I have to disagree with @jasen because there really isn't anything wrong with that configuration, it's just that it doesn't play well with devices that need a unswitched power and neutral. It's an older approach, but not dangerous. I DK how good your access is, but you'd have to run a /3 cable to one or the other boxes from the fixture and re-wire. There is a LOT of info on various schemes for wiring 3 way switches on the net. Google some and you'll get a LOT of options.

  • 1
    Well, one thing is for certain, opening up the wall and running new cable unfortunately is not an option at this juncture. If it cant be done w/out a new cable then so be it. Thanks for taking the time to think about this!
    – ricardoom
    Apr 5, 2022 at 13:50

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