Four Way Switch Wiring Diagram

Hello readers! Today, we will delve into the world of electrical wiring and discuss the intricacies of a four-way switch. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to wire a four-way switch and its various applications. So, let’s get started!

1. Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the wiring diagram, let’s first understand what a four-way switch is. In simple terms, it is a type of electrical switch that allows you to control a light fixture from three or more locations. This means that you can turn the light on or off from any of the switch locations, providing convenience and flexibility.


  • Allows control of a single light from multiple locations.
  • Enhances convenience and flexibility.
  • Eliminates the need for multiple single-pole switches.


  • Requires a more complex wiring setup.
  • Can be confusing for those unfamiliar with electrical systems.

2. Wiring a Four-Way Switch

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a four-way switch is, let’s take a closer look at the wiring diagram. The diagram consists of four switches, labeled as S1, S2, S3, and S4, and a light fixture. The switches are interconnected using traveler wires, which carry the electrical signal between the switches.

To wire a four-way switch, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the circuit at the breaker panel.
  2. Remove the existing switches and disconnect the wires.
  3. Identify the four-way switch and connect the traveler wires to the appropriate terminals.
  4. Connect the common wire to the common terminal of each switch.
  5. Install the switches back into their respective locations.
  6. Turn on the power supply and test the switches.

3. Alternative Wiring Methods

While the four-way switch wiring diagram we discussed above is the most common method, there are alternative wiring methods available. One such method is the “California” three-way switch wiring, which utilizes a different configuration of terminals and wires. It is important to note that the alternative methods may not be compatible with all switch types, so it is essential to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance.

4. Four-Way Switch Wiring Diagram Table

Switch Terminal Wire Color
S1 Common Black
S2, S3, S4 Common Brass
S2, S3, S4 Traveler Red

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I use a four-way switch with LED lights?

A: Yes, four-way switches can be used with LED lights. However, it is important to ensure that the switches and LED lights are compatible. LED lights often require specific dimmers or switches designed for their low-voltage requirements.

Q: Can I add more than four switches to a four-way switch circuit?

A: Yes, additional switches can be added to a four-way switch circuit. Each additional switch will require the installation of additional traveler wires to connect the switches in the desired configuration.


In conclusion, understanding how to wire a four-way switch is essential for anyone looking to control a light fixture from multiple locations. While the wiring process may be more complex than a standard switch, the convenience and flexibility it offers make it a worthwhile endeavor. Remember to always follow safety precautions and consult professional help if needed. Happy wiring!