I have a single garage light switch that controls 2 ceiling mounted left and right fixtures, I want to replace this with a dual single switch that can independently turn off/on the left/right lights.

Inside the jbox on the wall, it looks like I have 3 cable runs, I'm assuming the third is for the ceiling mounted outlet for the garage door opener, can anyone help with wiring this up properly?

Photos below of the setup, the switch I'm trying to replace it with is a Cooper 7728, sorry I can't post more then 2 images for now.

switch1 switch2

  • 1
    If you want the lights to be independent, they'll need separate wires for each light entering the junction box. Have you identified each of the wires inside the junction box? Typically, one light would be connected as a load from the other light's junction box instead of going directly to the switch.
    – BMitch
    Nov 30, 2015 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


First, you need to figure out which wire is which.

Then, you will wire it as follows:

Before you begin, shut off power at the breaker or fuse box, and then remove all the wire nuts inside that box.

  1. Connect all the ground (bare/green) wires together, and ground the switch.

  2. Connect all the neutral (white) wires together.

  3. If you look at the switch, there will be a terminal that is labeled "common", "main", or "hot". Connect your power supply wire (black) to this terminal.

  4. Connect the remaining each of the remaining black wires (each one should go to one of the lights) to each of the two remaining terminals on the double switch (in my photo, those are the terminals on the left side, clearly visible).

  5. Mount the new switch, turn on the breaker, and voila! Separate controls!

I think that you should also use a voltmeter set to continuity and a long piece of wire to determine if each light is it's own wire, or not. Attach on lead to the long wire, and connect it to the center contact on the light bulb socket of one of the lights. Then connect the other lead to each hot wire coming in to the switch box. You should be able to figure out using this method if each light is its own wire, and then which each light's wire is.

  • No photo, I assume due to low rep. If you can put the photo on the web somewhere and add a link, someone with a higher rep and add it to your answer.
    – DoxyLover
    Nov 30, 2015 at 7:08
  • 2
    The assumption in step 4, that one wire goes to each light, is not necessarily so. I don't see anything wrong with going through the steps - just understand that at the end it might not work, and you have to go to plan B. Nov 30, 2015 at 9:16
  • Thanks guys, I ended up just replacing both fixtures with LED's and installing a occupancy sensor, both fixtures were not wired to the wall jbox, one tapped into the other then ran into the jbox, and the 3rd cable run I had in the jbox was for the outlet. Happy with the setup for now.
    – Fernando
    Dec 1, 2015 at 6:12

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