3 way switch is a lighting control procedure that is very much useful to turn “off” or turn “on” a lighting fixture from two different locations.
Since there are 3 conductors connecting the switches in a 3 way light switch wiring we call this three way switch.
Before understanding the principle or operation of a 3 way switch wiring lets first see what is the definition of wiring.
Electrical switch wiring generally refers to insulated conductor used to carry current and associated device. (or)
Wiring is systematic laying of wires for the smooth flowing of electricity current at different utility places with utmost safety and precautions. (or)
A network of wires drawn connecting the meter board to the various energy consuming loads (lamps, fans, motors etc) through control and protective devices for efficient distribution of power is known as electrical wiring.
Three Way Switch Operation
The operation of a 3 way switch is very simple:
When the two switches are in the same position – both in position 1 or both in position 2 – the bulb is “off”.
When the two switches are in opposite or unlike positions – switch A in position 1 and switch B in position 2 ; or switch A in position 2 and switch B in position 1 – the bulb will turn “on”.
Switch A in position 1; Switch B in position 1 Bulb is “Off”
Switch A in position 2; Switch B in position 2 Bulb is “Off”
Switch A in position 1; Switch B in position 2 Bulb is “On”
Switch A in position 2; Switch B in position 1 Bulb is “On”
If you are an electrician and willing to do this wiring system, then you must be very careful to understand and implement the 3 way light switch wiring because an error may result the short circuit or fire in some cases.
Three way switch can be used in many locations but most of the cases it is found in stairs and entrances etc.