The bathroom is dark. It has one wall light with a pull chain and a "beauty bar" medicine cabinet light activated by (an oddly high) switch next to mirror. I want to add recessed LED cans, put in a three way switch setup so the lights can be turned on or off next to either door, and add the original wall light to this circuit to maintain the original vibe.
When you have a wall light with a switch on it, that means the switch is inside the light fixture and the wires in the box behind it are always hot.
This will be our main junction box. The power will come into the box, go out to the switches, come back into the boxed as a "switched hot" and then the switched hot will tie into the old light and the new overhead lights called cans. To show you what I mean, I've drawn you some pictures.
Now it gets complicated. A three way switch uses 3 conductor wire with two hot wires. The switches don't simply interrupt but rather rout the power to one of two "tracks". If you imagine a train going somewhere with two tracks and two track switches, it would need to have these switches "in agreement" to get to the destination - in our case this is power going to a light.
If you get how the three way works, now for the real challenge - putting this knowledge into use in your preferred configuration. From earlier: "The power will come into the box, go out to the switches, come back into the boxed as a "switched hot" and then the switched hot will tie into the old light and the new overhead lights called cans." That looks something like this:
First though I have to turn off the circuit by finding the correct fuse. It's a good idea to write down everything that turns off when you pull this fuse. On a side note, you can think of a fuse like a light bulb that has a thick filament that burns out when too much power is flowing through it (amperage) thus cutting off power to the circuit.
One switch, two switch... red switch blue switch?
I am so happy to have that bathroom lit up brightly. Good lighting noticeably improves my mood. I'm still not sure what vanity light I'm going to use for above the mirror but I'm leaning towards a chrome "beauty bar". I think I have one kicking around somewhere. I'm kind of a light fixture hoarder...
Haha actually I have two.