Staircase Light Wiring Tutorial


In this Tutorial we are going to discuss the staircase light wiring using two , Two way switches . This is the most commonly used wiring for this type of places in a building . Because , It allows you to control the light/lights with a minimum amount of components . This method will also reduce the amount of wires that you have to use . In this tutorial we are going to discuss the wiring in AC mains power . If you have DC as your mains power please let us know where we may update this article on how to do the staircase wiring  in DC power as well  .

Why two way switches ?

Two way switch back side

Two way switch

The reason behind the use of two way switch for staircase light wiring is that it has two contact points that common contact will made contact with each switch position . This makes it ideal for this situation . We should be able to made and break the power to the light at each switch . This is not possible with one way switch  where there is only one contact point .  Besides that , It’s almost impossible to create a wiring like this with only using two single pole one way switches . By using two way switches it allows us to design the circuit with minimum components and minimum amount of wires .




Design Requirements

Two way switch Staircase Wiring design

Two way switch Staircase Wiring design

As always plan the wiring beforehand . Starting with the switch positions . Where is to position them  – The first switch should be positioned at the bottom of the stairs and the next two way switch should be positioned on the next floor . Make sure that the switches are easily accessible to the person at the each end of the staircase . The height should be 3ft to 4ft from the ground . The sunk box shouldn’t  be visible when the wiring is done . Make sure that you have enough depth cleared in the wall to place the sunk box . The path for the wiring can be perpendicular and straight or diagonal . perpendicular and straight paths are easy to made .But , Require more wires to do the wiring .  However , The diagonal parts are hard to made in the wall . But , requires less wires . The next thing to look for is where the nearest power out point in the building wiring . Make sure that this circuit is parallel connected to that sub circuit . The power rating of the fuse or the breaker of that sub circuit should not exceed by connecting this circuit to it .[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Wiring Method 1 : Straight Method

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method1

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method 1

Here are the component list –

Two way switches   – 2

Bulb Holder (B22) – 1

Bulb                          – 1

1/1.44 Wires (Brown)  – * (Depends on the application)

1/1.44 Wires (blue)  – * (Depends on the application)

The live wire coming out of the breaker or sub circuit connects to the nearest two way switches common terminal . The Neutral wire connects to one of the terminals of the bulb holder . The other terminal of the bulb holder connects to the next two way switches common terminal . The terminal one and Terminal two of first two way switch connects to the terminal one and terminal two of the second two way switch respectively. This is why this method is called Straight method .

How this circuit works –  Since , The live connects to the common terminal of the first switch if that switch position is in on state the live connects to the terminal two of that switch . The terminal two of that switch is connected to the terminal two of the second switch . So , If the second switch also at the same position as the first switch the bulb will turn on .  Ultimately , If the switch positions are same the bulb remains ON and if not the bulb remains OFF . This allows the same single bulb to be controlled at each switch individually .

Wiring Method 1 : Crossover Method

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method2

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method 2

The component list is the same as above .

The live wire coming out of the breaker or sub circuit connects to the nearest two way switches common terminal . The Neutral wire connects to one of the terminals of the bulb holder . The other terminal of the bulb holder connects to the next two way switches common terminal . The terminal one and Terminal two of first two way switch connects to the terminal two and terminal one of the second two way switch respectively (Cross over type connection). This is why this method is called Crossover method .

How this circuit works –  Since , The live connects to the common terminal of the first switch if that switch position is in on state the live connects to the terminal two of that switch . The terminal two of that switch is connected to the terminal two of the second switch . So , If the second switch is in the opposite position to the first switch , The bulb will turn on .   If the switch positions are  Opposite the bulb remains ON and equal switch positions cause the bulb to turn OFF .




Other Methods

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method3

Two way staircase wiring Diagram method3

In this wiring as you can see the same components being used but with a different wiring . Unlike the other methods this one have three wires between switches.  The common terminals of each switch connected together. L1 of one switch connects to L1 of the other switch . L2 of one switch connects to L2 of the other switch . However , you can flip this connection ( L1 to L2 , L2 to L1 ) to change the switch positions . There is no major advantage in this method compared to other methods .

How this circuit works –  The neutral always connected to the bulb . The Live line connects to each switches L1 terminal .Lets say , If both switches are in ON state the bulb remains OFF . If one of the switch turned off the bulbs other terminal will connects to the live through the next switch’s L1 terminal .

Conclusion : Two way staircase light Wiring

Although there are many two way staircase light wiring methods . The first method we have mentioned is the best method available to do this wiring using only two two way switches . Chose a method that suits your situation . Whatever the method is you need to follow local wiring standards when doing the actual wiring . Use minimum amount of wire and other components  when doing the wiring . But , Don’t loose the overall quality of your wiring work .