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I've seen this question before, and I found one answer that sounds feasible. I need to add a light at the top of a stairwell that has a three-way switch/light configuration, BUT, I cannot fish additional wire. So my two questions are:

  1. Will the pictured solution work?
  2. If not, can I simply piggyback off the existing three-way wiring to add a light, on it's own switch, at either end point?

Possible solution, needs to be verified

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  • You are trying to put the two lights in series but you need them in parallel. This won’t work.
    – DoxyLover
    Jan 25 at 22:37

2 Answers 2

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Will the pictured solution work?

Hard no. Switches are not reliable places to tap things.

Who wrote that? AI? Or a Home Depot employee? LOL

To see why, let's color the wires by their actual function. A lamp needs switched-hot (red here) and neutral (white here).

enter image description here

Obviously, these colors do not correspond to those in your boxes, because it was wired with stock black-white-red cable and nobody bothered to tape wires to identify them.

If not, can I simply piggyback off the existing three-way wiring to add a light, on it's own switch, at either end point?

Then you'll need always-hot (black) and neutral (white). Go look where both are found in the same box. Only one place.

Unless you reinvent the 3-way circuit with smart switches that use radio or powerline communication for what was previously done with the travelers, that can free up enough wires to bring always-hot and neutral everywhere.

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You need neutral and switched hot. At the right switch you have switched hot but you don't have neutral. Solutions are going to involve either new cables or smart switches. Smart switches can help because some of them don't need two travelers, letting you use white as neutral.

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