2 Way or 3 Way ?

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I have 3 lighting fixtures upstairs each containing 3 60W golf ball bulbs. Controlling these lights I have a standard switch downstairs, and 4 standard switches upstairs. I want to replace one of the upstairs switches with a dimmer switch. Reading other questions, I reckon I need a 600W dimmer switch, but I do not know if it should be 2 Way, or 3 Way, or however many way, can you please help ?
 
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My crystal ball tells me you have one light controlled by two switches, one ustairs and the other downstairs. And you have two more lights, each controlled by their own switch.

If this is not the case then please supply a more accurate description of your setup, as my CB has been on the blink lately.
 
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Apologies, I will try and explain further. All three lights upstairs are on the same switching circuit, i.e. the switch downstairs will turn on all three lights upstairs. Similarly, anyone of the 4 switches upstairs will also turn on all three lights. Each light consisting of 3 60w bulbs.
 
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Thanks for the info. However, I omitted the fact that I only need to control dimming from one of the switches, (one of the upstairs switches), all other switches can be left as standard. Do I still need the master and slave scenario in this case ?
 
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3way :confused: , do these really exist?

What it sounds like you have is what is known as 2 way intermediate, two 2way switches and 3 intermediate switches. You can get a 2 way dimmer switch which you can use to replace one of the two way switches, though this is only really an option if the switch you want to replace is a 2way (not an intermediate) one.
 
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Thanks...I am sure a 3 way doesn't exist :oops: Just me trying to show I was getting somewhat confused.

So, it looks as though it will be possible, now I have to find out which of the switches are 2way, is there a easy way to identify them ? Also, am I right in assuming I will need a 600W dimmer switch ? The total wattage of all the bulbs being 540W ? Looking at descriptions of 600W dimmers they seem to have descriptions like 'Suitable for use with Toroidal and Wire Wound Transformers'. For me that really is confusing ! Does this mean I can't just disconnect the chosen switch and connect the dimmer in it's place ?
 
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mikandra said:
Thanks...I am sure a 3 way doesn't exist :oops: Just me trying to show I was getting somewhat confused.
Switches come in 1-way, 2-way and intermediate.

By putting intermediate switch(es) between two 2-ways, you can create 3-way, 4-way or any-number-of-way switching circuits. See the diagrams in the For Reference section

People don't often have more than 3-way or 4-way switching, so it does become tempting to imagine that there are 3-way or 4-way switches, but there are just the 3 types.

In theory, ignoring the practical aspects of voltage drop and contact resistance and how long it would take to wire, if you put 999,998 intermediate switches between 2 2-ways, you'd have a million-way switching circuit.

So, it looks as though it will be possible, now I have to find out which of the switches are 2way, is there a easy way to identify them ?
1-way switches have 2 terminals per gang
2-way switches have 3 terminals per gang
Intermediate switches have 4 terminals per gang

I'm sure you'll be delighted to learn that is possible to also use 2-way switches as 1-way, and intermediates as 1-way or 2-way, so you need to count the numbers of terminals in use.

Also, am I right in assuming I will need a 600W dimmer switch ? The total wattage of all the bulbs being 540W ?
Depends on the type of lights - some dimmers require derating for halogen and ELV lighting by more than the 10% that you'll have in hand.

Looking at descriptions of 600W dimmers they seem to have descriptions like 'Suitable for use with Toroidal and Wire Wound Transformers'. For me that really is confusing ! Does this mean I can't just disconnect the chosen switch and connect the dimmer in it's place ?
Depends on the type of lights you have...
 
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Golf ball lamps - standard fillament lamp, 600watt dimmer will be fine.
 
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Well thank-you all for your help, I will get counting terminals and hopefully connect my 600W Dimmer up successfully.
 

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