SHED PLANS       HOW TO BUILD A SHED       SHED IMPROVEMENT       SHED PHOTOS       BLOG

Wire A Three Way Switch In Your Backyard Shed or Basement Finishing Project (or any place else you need a 3 way light switch)

how to wire a three way switch diagram

Three way switches are used to have two switches turn on light(s). This can be useful if you have two doorways into your backyard shed or any other place you need two switches. They can operate two switches because there is always power to both switches even if one of the switches is turned off.

tools and materials

  • 2 Three way switches
  • Wire strippers
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Screwdriver, phillips head
  • Switch box
  • Wire connectors
  • If using a metal box you will also need, grounding screw and cable clamps

 

three-way-switch-wiring

 

step 1 Understanding Three Way Switches

A three way switch has 4 screw terminals:

  • One common screw that the power hooks up to, Brass or Black colored
  • Two Traveler screws, Silver colored
  • One Ground, Green colored

 

The First Box: The First box has the power come into it with a 2 wire cable, and a 3 wire cable going out if it to the second box and switch.

The Second Box: The second box has the 3 wire cable coming in from the first box and a 2 wire cable going out to the light.

The Traveler Wire: The 3 wire cable that goes between boxes has a 3rd wire in it that is red. It is called the "Traveler". The 3 wire cable allows power to go to the second switch even when the first switch is turned off.

step 2 Wire The First Switch at The First Shed Door

Attach the 2 wire cable FROM THE POWER SOURCE to the screw on the first switch:

  • Black wire to the "Common" screw on the switch. (the common screw is usually black in color)

Attach the 3 wire traveler cable GOING BETWEEN THE TWO BOXES to the traveler terminals on the first switch:(The "Traveler" screws are the same color)

  • Black wire goes to one of the "Traveler" screws.
  • Red wire goes to one of the "Traveler" screws.

 

Attach the White Wire:

  • White wire FROM the two wire power source connects to the white wire going TO the second switch, in the 3 wire cable, using a wire nut.

Ground Wires

  • Attach the ground wires to each other with a grounding wire nut and then attach the ground to the switch.

Push the wires into the box and screw the switch to the box.

 

Three way switch on handy box shed wall install

step 3 Wire The Second Switch At The Other Shed Door

Attach the 3 wire traveler cable coming FROM THE FIRST BOX: (The "Traveler" screws are the same color)

  • Black wire goes to one of the "Traveler" screws.
  • Red wire goes to one of the "Traveler" screws.
  • White wire connects to the white wire going to the light.

 

Attach the 2 wire cable going TO THE LIGHTS:

  • Black wire to the "Common" screw on the switch. (the common screw is usually black in color)
  • White wire connects to the white wire going to the other switch using a wire nut.

 

Attach the White Wire:

  • White wire from the 3 wire traveler cable connects to the white wire going to the light fixture using a wire nut.

 

Ground Wires

  • Attach the ground wires to each other with a grounding wire nut and then attach the ground to the switch.

step 4 Wire The Light Fixture On The Shed

Attach the light to the 2 wire cable. Black to Black, White to White, and Ground to Ground. Push the wires into the ceiling box on the ceiling or wall of the backyard shed and attach the light fixture to it.

Turn the breaker on in your shed electrical sub panel and test your 3 way light switches.

related articles
phone and email questions about shed plans and shed building how to build a shed
Shed Heights to Meet City Buiilding Code Requirements Click To See The Heights Of Our Shed Plans
phone and email questions about shed plans and shed building how to build a shed

What People Say About iCreatables Sheds. CLICK FOR MORE INFO

"I'm declaring victory over the shed project. Thanks for the great plans and for answering my various e-mails along the way." John

You guys are awesome! Thank you very much!" Denise

garage storage solutions