In my garage I have a two way switch near the rolling door and another one located next to the entry door going into the house. Both switches control the garage main light that barely gives enough light in the garage. I want to add an additional fixture and I want to control it independently and with the existing two way switches.

Essentially, I want to turn it on only when needed, but always turned off by either of the three way switches. This saves energy while maintaining the convenience of the existing circuit.

Something tells me that it can be done, but it is difficult to see how I would go about wiring it. My initial thought is to treat it like another fixture, but with an additional 1 way switch between it and the three way circuit output. The other problem is how do I find which outlet is the first one, since it won't work otherwise.

1 Answer 1


I believe this is what you are requesting: the new light must always be off when the original light is off but can optionally be turned on while the original light is on.

To accomplish this you can connect the new light in parallel with the original light, but with a switch on the hot leg, like this:

enter image description here

Or use a new light that has a built-in pull-chain, which is a switch that will accomplish the same thing.

Image source

  • Thanks for all the help. You pointed me in the right direction, but I discovered that the wiring isn't as simple as I thoiught. The power source comes in through the light, rather than revise my question, I opened another question, but framed it without the single pole switch while keeping this answer for others with simpler circuits: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/66287/…
    – user148298
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 4:35

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