Four-way switches have four terminals. This type of switch works in combination with two three-way switches to control electricity to lights from three (or more) locations. They support hot conductors (traveller wires), which receive and transfer electricity from each of the three-way switches.
A 3-way switch will usually have 4 screws. Most older 3 way switches only have 3 screws. The difference between the older and the newer switch is, the ground screw. Code changes over the years have required the addition of the ground screw for safety reasons. However, it is not needed for the correct operation of the 3 way switch. It is needed for the safe operation of this switch or any other type of switching device. On some switches the colors of the screw terminals are different to differentiate between the common and traveler screws. Some switches are made differently from others so the colors used may differ between manufacturers. The common screw will nearly always be a different color from the traveler screws.
A simple on-off switch: The two terminals are either connected together (allowing current to flow) or disconnected from each other, breaking the circuit, as you throw the switch.
Sometimes referred to as a Single pole, single throw switch (abbreviated to SPST). May also be referred to as a toggle switch.
If you need to know how to fix or remodel a lighting circuit, you’re in the right place…
We have and extensive collection of common light switch arrangements with detailed lighting circuit diagrams, light wiring diagrams and a breakdown of all the components used in lighting circuits. Don’t forget to take a quick look at the ‘key to wiring diagrams‘ to familiarize yourself with the conventions used on the site.
|Two way light switch circuits - control single or multiple lights from a single location|
|Three way light switch circuits - control single or multiple lights from two locations|
|Four way light switch circuits - control single or multiple lights from 3 or more locations|
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|Black wires (HOT)|
|White wires (NEUTRAL)|
|Red wires (TRAVELLER or SWITCH)|
|Green wires (GROUND)|
|For ease of illustration, white wires marked with a black circle are HOT not NEUTRAL. In real life these wires would normally be marked with black tape|
|2 wire cable with ground - the ground is shown as green for illustration but is actually a bare copper wire|
|3 wire cable with ground - the ground is shown as green for illustration but is actually a bare copper wire|
|Switch box - used to mount 2, 3 and 4 way switches|
|Octagon box - used to mount light fixtures|
|Light fixture - showing lamp, hot and neutral terminals|
|Two way switch >>MORE INFO|
|Three way switch - used to control a light from two locations >>MORE INFO|
|Four way or crossover switch - used, in conjunction with three way switches, to control a light from three or more locations>> MORE INFO|