This page is a favor for any person trying to wire switches, lights and outlets together! The diagrams listed are for your use as a simple reference to use when you are doing your wiring. They vary from Beginner to advanced (3-way switches, outlets, variations, series, etc…) I find it most useful if you first draw out your own paper version of the lights/outlets you plan on installing (preferably with colored pencils so you can color coat them) to minimize errors so you don’t have to troubleshoot or spend more time than needed.
Please note that I did not include the ground wires in these diagrams because I wanted them to be very simple for basic understanding. When you do the wiring, you will definitely want to wire the grounds in!
Simple One Single Outlet
Wiring Two Outlets (Double Outlets)
Wiring Three Outlets (Triple Outlets)
Split Circuit Outlet
Single Light Wiring
Wiring a Pull Chain light from an outlet
Wiring a 3-Way Switch (Easy)
Basic arrangement of the 3-way switch. (Shown in the white box is a simple diagram that depicts the function of the three-way switch.) The main thing to remember when you wire two way switches is that they are the same as wiring in a single-pole switch, except you must have two additional wires attaching the two switches together as illustrated in the picture.
Another (perhaps more useful) method for the three-way switch.
Wiring Parallel Circuit Lights With Switch on Other End
Be careful cause when there’s a series of lights between the switch(es) and the power supply the wiring is a little bit trickier. Study this diagram to understand what I mean. This type of wiring is also accounted for when wiring 3-way switches with a series of lights between the power box and the switches. A daunting mistake is when the lights are wired all together in the same circuit as a simple series of lights in contrast to a parallel series of lights. This causes the lights to share the same power supply (more resistance to what the amps are designed for.) When you make this mistake the lights will be dimmer. To fix this problem, you will need to wire together a parallel circuit instead of a series circuit! See diagrams below for depictions.
Wiring a 3-Way Switch With Two Lights
The diagram below might not be very useful for copying, but it does a good job of explaining how the 3-way switch works with two lights.
Take caution when constructing these more complex wiring diagrams. If you don’t study them carefully, it might blow a breaker and not function properly until you rebuild the wiring. It is always best to draw your custom diagram on paper and study it before performing the actual task.
How a Four-way Switch Works
This diagram describes how to wire a four-way switch, it’s mainly just to show you the basics so you understand how simple four-way switches are in their simplest form.