First of all I wanna thank those that replied to my original question where the basic answer was - you don’t have a neutral wire and need to get a switch or switches that don’t require one.

So I did that. I bought two GE switches that don’t require a neutral.

Alas, their instructions don’t work for me so here I am again.

I’ll start again with the details.

I have two switches that I want to replace with the GE smart switch dimmer/motion sensing switches. I now have the two GE switches.

One box has incoming power where the white is hot and the black is not. There is also a second 3-wire in this box which I assume is outgoing to the other switch box. This is box 1

On box 1 I have incoming white and outgoing white connected together. The black “line” wire was going to the old switch hot terminal and traveller black on the terminal on the same side and the red wire on the opposite side. (Black and black on the same side, red on the other) The wire from incoming power is on the bottom (black) opposite the red, the traveller black is on top.

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On box 2 I only have three wires- red, black and white. There is no other set of wires coming in or going out. (Dead end setup?)

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GE gave me three different ways to connect this but none of them work or I’m missing something.




I need dumbed down install instructions. Basically the GE switches have two black connections and one ground and that’s all you need apparently. I just need to know what wires go where?


  • 1
    Where is the original question? What's going on with the missing screws and broken wire? What is your reason for trying to DIY without basic electrical skills? Commented Feb 10 at 21:15
  • 1
    Can you post photos looking into the backs of the boxes involved please? Commented Feb 11 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


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Figure 1. A 2-way lighting circuit with 3-wire switches. (Image mine.)

How it works:

  • With both switches up current will flow through the upper traveller wire. LAMP1 will be powered.
  • With both switches down current will flow through the lower traveller wire. LAMP1 will be powered.
  • With any other switch combination there is no current path to LAMP1 and it will not be powered.

I have no idea of North American colour codes so you will have to figure those out yourself. If the switches do not indicate which of the terminals is the "common" (for supply and lamp connections) then you need to disconnect the switch and buzz it out with a multimeter or bell.

Isolate the power to the circuit while working on it.

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