I have a 2gang box with a single pole switch and a 3way switch.

I am trying to figure out if it is possible with the current wiring to remove the single pole, and control both lights from the existing 3way switches.

I've attached a diagram of the setup, but will outline it as well. I'm labeling these with 12/3a and 12/3b to indicate which length of wire we're dealing with (I don't know better formatting but feel free to let me know).

  • Hot enters LightBox#1 as 12/2.
  • Hot Black 12/2 jumps directly to Black 12/3a that leaves the box.
  • 12/3a inside Lightbox#1 connects the Red wire and white wire to the light fixture
  • 12/3a runs from LB#1 to 2gang box, feeding hot into the box on black
  • 12/3a black pigtails to provide hot to single pole switch and 3 way switch
  • Single pole gets hot pigtail and 12/3a's red wire
  • 3-way switch gets hot pigtail and runs 12/3b to single gang box with 3-way switch
  • 3-way switch gets 12/3b's black and red, and connects 12/2 that runs to LightBox#2

Both switches are receiving power from the same line into the 2gang box.

I've reviewed various wiring diagrams online and on these forums, but nothing that let me figure if I could do what I'm trying.

So is there a way without running new line, to get both lights running on the 3-way switches . And both would need to be on together, or off together, not alternating.

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2 Answers 2


The only way you can get this to work is with smart switches or running another cable.

The 12/3 between the 3 way switches has two travelers and neutral. Switched hot is only in the right switch box. You need another wire to bring it back to the left. That either means a new cable or you could use a smart switch on the right, use one traveler as hot and the other as switched hot. Then replace the left switch with a smart switch that is synchronized with the right switch so that they function as if they were 3 way switches even though they aren't connected.


Nope. You're not considering the neutral wire, which must be routed to both light fixtures, but cannot connect to any of the switches. I'm also mystified why you have any wires at all going to the unused single pole switch.

  • 1
    the single pole switch controls the light on the left, by switching the red in the 12/3 cable. It is not unused. That is the question he is asking, if can make single pole unused by adding left light to switching of right light.
    – Keith
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 5:39

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