A light fixture hooked up to 3 light switches is a 4-way light switch not 3-way, right?

I'm having a lot of trouble with it with flickering lights and the lights turning on full brightness the 2 seconds later going to half brightness automatically. it's 9 light fixtures so I don't think it's that I think it's the switch configuration.

Can someone direct me to a link to buy a good quality set? Just searching on amazon it doesn't look like anything that comes up is actually 4-way.

Would it be easier to get a smart/wifi/z-wave version? I'm assuming since they're wifi there's one single pole and the others just communicate with that one?

  • "Please help me buy something" isn't an on-topic question on this site. However, "Please help me figure out what is wrong" is on topic. Please use the Edit link to explain the layout of your setup in greater detail, and what kind of switches you have now. Then we can see what can be done. Sep 22, 2023 at 22:28
  • Also, lights controlled by 3 switches have two 3-way switches with a 4-way switch in between. Power > 3-way switch > 4-way switch > 3-way switch > lights. Sep 22, 2023 at 22:31
  • Is one of the switches a dimmer?
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 22, 2023 at 22:38
  • Unless the wires are loose at the switches, the switches are probably not causing the flickering. Type of lights might be important, LEDs are more sensitive to power problems in the house. Some LEDs plus dimmers sometimes do not like each other. Do not remove any wires from switches without a lot of pictures and the wires labelled.
    – crip659
    Sep 23, 2023 at 12:29
  • What kind of switches do you have now? All simple? One of them a dimmer? More than one a dimmer? Sep 24, 2023 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


For "dumb" switches with adequate travellers: (USA/Canada) two 3-ways and one 4-way in the middle. For more than 3 switches, two 3-ways at the "ends" and as many 4-ways as it takes in the middle.

Elsewhere on the planet, usually two 2-ways and a 3-way (same switches as above, different nomenclature for them.)

But it could be all 4-ways, since a 4 way does the same thing as a 3 way if you leave the correct parts unconnected, just as a 3 way or 4 way can act as a simple 2-contact switch by only connecting the proper pair of contacts.

If "wifi/smart" rather than dumb with traveler wires, the group of switches just needs to know which switch to tell to change the state of the light, being the one actually wired to it. No 3-way or 4-way to that setup, normally.

  • what about flickering
    – Traveler
    Sep 22, 2023 at 23:29
  • 2
    What about it, formerly known as Ruskes, formerly known as KnowItAll? We do one question per question here, so I answered the question. There isn't a question about flickering here, just a statement, and then a request for shopping help, which we don't do, and multiple further shopping questions.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 23, 2023 at 0:04
  • Interesting, you are keeping record of me, is that love
    – Traveler
    Sep 23, 2023 at 3:04
  • I was wondering what happened to Ruskes. Very interesting new choice of username. Sep 24, 2023 at 0:53

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