This is very confusing to me.

The situation is like this... there's one light switch in the garage. This switch turns the light inside the garage on and also the lights on the outside of the garage. I want these to be separated so I can leave my outside garage lights on and the inside one off. I purchased a switch with two toggles that fit in the same single gang. It bridges the power side with a metal tab you can break off.

I was kind of thinking all the wires were ran back to the switch in the wall because there were so many wires. Is this possible to do?

Took all the wires apart to inspect. 3 Whites, 3 Blacks, a Red and a jumper black wire that goes from the switch to the other 3 Black wires.

This is what it looks like when wired and working
This is what it looks like when wired and working.

Now I played around with possible wiring scenarios trying to figure out which wire went to which lamp. Then I crawled in the attack and looked where the outside lamps wires ran.
Light wiring
I found this. This is the back of the light bulb that is in the garage. 2 of the white wires are from the lamps outside, 1 goes to the garage door opener, and the black one goes back to where the wall with the switch is.

I guess first thing, has anyone seen this before or know what this is? Did someone sort of jerry rig this whole thing? Is it still possible to set up 2 switches and have the other two lights separated from the inside bulb? And if so, does anyone know how this could be done?

I'm guessing I can combine the two outside light wires together and run a separate wire down to the switch and fish it through the wall. Leaving the wiring how it is, and connect to one switch and the new wires to the other? Or is this wrong?

Thanks in advance for you help.

  • What's the wiring look like inside the light? That's might give a clue as to where the power is coming from.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 13:45
  • I'd have to take it apart... which I can do later this evening
    – Jamez243
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 15:32
  • Don't bother, it's fairly obvious what's in the box, given the colors of the multi-wire cable and where you said they go. This work is evidently professional and to code, its only flaw is failing to leave room for expansion. Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


From your description the wiring is normal not "jerry rigged". You can add a new wire to the switch but from the wire count you may not be able to fit everything back in the box and your wire fill would exceed code. It may be better to purchase a 2 gang old work box cut the hole the right size for the box pull the old box and install the new 2 gang box. It may be easier to add a 4x4 box in the attic to make your connections to the outside lights and new feed from the 2nd switch. All connections need to be in a box. The 3 sets of wires in the original switch box are possibly the hot feed, the switched feed to the lights and a hot feed to outlets on the wall this would have been a normal setup a few years back. Remember to turn the power off prior to doing the wiring changes and good luck.

  • The current gang installed is nailed to the stud. How would I remove that without tearing up the drywall?
    – Jamez243
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 15:40
  • The 2 gang old work will be wider cut the opening wider abd pry the box lose
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 18:56

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