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I am a little confused, and hope someone can help.

I am trying to wire three lights on a single switch, with POWER INTO THE SWITCH FIRST. I thought I needed to use 3-wire plus ground, between the lights (to allow for smart switches to be added in the future).

In an diagram I've seen, for 3 lights and 1 switch (WITH POWER INTO FIRST LIGHT), the wires between the light fixtures are 3-plus Ground.

But in the image below, with the power into the switch first (which is what I want), ALL the wires are 2-plus Ground.

Is it OK to use 2-plus Ground wire throughout my project (Power into switch first)?

enter image description here

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    Yes it should be fine Aug 12, 2023 at 7:16
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    that's exactly the way it should be wired. Aug 12, 2023 at 8:09

2 Answers 2

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Your diagram is correct. From the power source (breaker or fuse panel), you just need hot, neutral and ground.

The only reason you would need /3 (+ground) is if power went to a light first. Then you would use /3 from the first light to the switch so that you can carry switched-hot back to the first light.

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    The /3(power at light) is required now so you can have neutral at the switch box. Even if you do not use it. Before smart switches you could use just /2, but people now find they need to rewire to use smart switches.
    – crip659
    Aug 12, 2023 at 10:05
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I thought I needed to use 3-wire plus ground, between the lights (to allow for smart switches to be added in the future).

Yes, if you plan to extend the circuit from any of the light boxes, or if you plan to add a 3-way switch, smart or not, you will need at least 3 plus ground.

The other answers and comments seemed to ignore this part of your question. If you are going to have "smart switches to be added" that are not shown in your diagram, then running 2 plus ground between the lights will not work.

On the other hand, smart switches can be placed in different parts of the circuit that might not affect the cables between the lights. You should continue to plan your project with more specific ideas about where you want to locate the switches.

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    I assumed that “to allow for smart switches to be added in the future” referred to replacing the switch with a smart switch. If the OP is talking about adding additional switches, then he’s talking about making it a 3-way switching system, which is a whole other kettle of fish.
    – DoxyLover
    Aug 12, 2023 at 13:20

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