My "power in" box has its black/white and ground and also the three wire cable( black /white /red and ground) and also the first light wires ( black/white). how do I wire this.

It is going to two lights-- the first light is pretty simple - just black and white-- ends at fixture--- also the cable feeding light # 2
and then moving on to the second three way box.
It seems I have an extra black wire in the initial "power in" box...

Do I hook the black power in with the black cable and let the current circulate?
or attach the power in to the dark screw. and then what do I do with the other two black wires? black cable to black first light? white cable to single light screw side,( as traveler) and red to double screw light screw side?

I have seen a couple photos and nothing is crystal clear.

1 Answer 1


Based on my understanding of what you have described, I believe you are dealing with a dead-end 3-way switch setup with what is known as an extended switch leg. Translation: all junctions are made in the first 3-way switch box.

Your questions/guesses on how to wire it are not exactly clear. I recommend following this wiring diagram. Please clarify if this wiring diagram does not apply to what you have described.

Wiring Diagram

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Circuit Example

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  • well I have way more wires than that diagram-- the first box basically has three black three white a red and 3 grounds....
    – dina
    Aug 20, 2015 at 20:26
  • 1
    @dina the provided diagram & photo show 3 blacks, 3 whites, and a red in the first box. Grounds are implied.
    – mjohns
    Aug 21, 2015 at 0:37
  • 1
    This setup may violate 404.2(C), depending on where the switches are located, and which code version you're following.
    – Tester101
    Aug 21, 2015 at 3:25
  • Yeah, you'd need to use /4 wire to wire up the loop under the 2014 (i.e. current) NEC, with a "dead end" neutral being provided all the way out to the furthest switch. Aug 23, 2015 at 1:16

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