So I'll come clean, I'm a first year electrical student at a tech school and I have a question regarding a diagram I'm supposed to draw.

The line diagram is presente:

《-- light -- switch -- light -- dimmer

So essentially home run through the first light, continuing to first 3 way, then to the light and then to the dimmer. The first 3 way is noted as controlling both lights, while only the second light is controlled by both switches. Sorry if that's confusing.

So my thoughts are that I have to run my hot all the way through to the common on the dimmer and then backtrack. The part that confuses me is I don't understand how to feed the second light.

There's also a challenge for extra points for not using any 4 wire cable. I've been thinking about this for days, scouring the web, drawing failed diagram after failed diagram. Please help

  • 3
    "The first 3 way is noted as controlling both lights, while only the second light is controlled by both switches." That's not mentally parsing. Does the second switch not control the first light?
    – BMitch
    Feb 3, 2016 at 22:48
  • Can you fix the typos? It doesn't sound too hard, but I don't completely get what it's wanting. Is it a 3-way dimmer or just a dimmer in line?
    – TFK
    Feb 3, 2016 at 23:03
  • 1
    Hint: switch loop.
    – keshlam
    Feb 3, 2016 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


I'm a little confused by the dimmer switch based on your post, so hopefully you'll correct that and I'll finish this answer.

However, to start you off on a new front that you might not have considered: go ahead and draw in 3-wire cabling between every item. You already know the layout that they have to be in and the maximum wires. Although it's for bonus credit, it can be used to your advantage.

There should be 2-wire going into the first light as your homerun, that's easy. Then leaving that first light to the switch will be 3 wires, hot wire nutted with the line, one tied to the light common, and then the neutral. Then you know that one wire from each of the other 3-wire cables has to be used to carry the neutral as well.

Without knowing the switching that is desired, I can't come up with a working solution based on my guess just yet. But this might help you find the answer yourself for now.

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