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#56426 - 09/21/05 07:55 PM Lighting a tunnel?  
strokezilla  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
ok here is the deal i have a extra credit project due fo res. wiring class. and i am LOST. i need to hook up 6 switches with 6 lights, there can be only two lights on at a time when u turn on one switch it turns on the light in front and turns off the one in back off but leaves the light right above it on, like lights in a long tunnel. i can use any combination of the following single pole/double pole/three-way/four-way.

i kinda know u have to have three-ways at each end but after that i am very lost. any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#56427 - 09/21/05 08:06 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I have bad news for you....what you describe cannot be done legally these days.

The reason for this is that you end up switching the neutral wire, which violates the National Electric Code.

I concede that this arrangement was once common- but those were the days before polarised plugs, ground wires, PLC controls, and the like. I will admit that it worked extremely well- almost as if the lights "knew" which way you were walking.

Nevertheless, I think this is one clever electrical trick you don't need to know.

#56428 - 09/21/05 08:18 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Ok Reno, you have me intriqued!~(MS) Hows it done? E-mail me as to not give this studen free answers for the class he needs to figure out on his own...... [Linked Image]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#56429 - 09/21/05 08:25 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
classicsat  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
If you must have switches, use LV switches and logic to control appropriate relays (perhaps solid state) or contactors to control lights.

I'd have to play, but I think it might be doable to some degree with 3 way switches.

If it were me, I'd use motion detector lamp holders, and forget using switches altogether.

#56430 - 09/21/05 08:29 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
strokezilla  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
hey e57 u was a student at one time and problably would had wanted help on the subject to. reno i see where u are coming from about sprading bad habits, and i dont need the extra credit i have a 97.5% but i just wanna show the teacher up he look down on all his students like we are all idiots about everything everything i have learned i have learned on my own because he is one of the kind of teachers that learned about it the went right to teaching. so he has never really had to but his hump to make a living i guess thats why he has a attitude with everyone

#56431 - 09/21/05 08:33 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
strokezilla  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
it has to be regular switches like found in every home out there and 6 cheap style screw in lamp holders. off all the things to have for extra credit i see in no way that this would ever have any effect on residetial wiring. i think he has to much free time on his hands to think this b.s. up

#56432 - 09/21/05 09:11 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Sorry, friend, I did not mean to be curt....but this is a very popular forum, and it would be wrong to get into this sort of switching.

I am sorry your instructor is a jerk, but I doubt you'll ever really change his attitude.

#56433 - 09/21/05 10:45 PM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
I think you could do it by using three ways so that the common is hot, one "traveller" srew goes to the bulb in front, the other srew goes to the bulb behind. then when you flip the switch it turns one off as it turns the next on. they would alternate having the one directly above on the sitch in front and behind. It could be done, it is a logic riddle. I'd need pencil and paper to really figure it out.

#56434 - 09/22/05 06:52 AM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
I know the answer to this and it is simple,
strokezilla, If you can't work this out, that's sad, to say the least, especially if you want to be better than your teacher.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 09-22-2005).]

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#56435 - 09/22/05 11:44 AM Re: Lighting a tunnel?  
electricbill  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 20
chester ny usa

the trick is to know how a three way switch works and using it to your advantage.
yes it is illegal to switch neutrals but this is a THEORY asked of about every apprentice.

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