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What is an intermediate switch?

What is an intermediate switch? 

An intermediate switch is a switch that is used in the middle of three way lighting circuit. That means that there are three switches controlling one light, or light switch circuit. The first and last switch on that circuit are two way switches. The middle switch is an intermediate switch. This ensures that the light can be controlled from all three switches at any time. 

The typical situation for this within the home is stairs lighting. It may be necessary to control the light from three locations. The bottom of the stairs, the top of the stairs and on the landing or, as in the illustration, at the top, middle and bottom of the stairs. In this situation the middle switch needs to be an intermediate switch. 

Can you have 2 intermediate switches?

Yes, this setup can be expanded to more than threes switches. With a setup with four or more switches every switch in the middle of the circuit needs to be an intermediate switch. Once again the first and last switch on the circuit need to be two way. 


Two way switching

Two Way Light Switching

As mentioned above, for an intermediate light switch to work it needs to be used in conjunction with two 2-way light switches. 

Two way light switches, used together, enable you to switch a light or lighting circuit from two different locations, for instance in a hallway you may have a light switch next to the front door, and a second next to the kitchen. For this lighting circuit to work both switches would need to be two way light switches. 

One Way Switching

One way switching is where you only need one switch to control one light or lighting circuit. As this is a similar but more simple version of the two way light switch, we don't sell specific one way light switch as it is as easy to use a two way light switch for the same function (just without connecting the L2 connection). 

Grid Switches

Grid Switches and Plates

Where a combination of both intermediate and two way switches are required, it is possible to create a unique switch combination using a grid switch. These switch plates come with the required number of grid switches, the yolk that fixes the grist switches to the plate, and the plate itself.

Please note, the single plate version of these switches have the screw holes at the top and bottom, as opposed to the left and right that you see on standard switch plates. This is to fit in the yolk in the back of the plate, and to still be able to fit the fixing screws into the back box (there fit into a standard back box with the screws on the left and right).  

Do I need an intermediate light switch?

Do I need an intermediate light switch?

If you have three or more light switches controlling one light, you will need at least one intermediate light switch. The two end switches will need to be two way switches. All the other switches, in between, will need to be intermediate switches. 

Every range we manufacture comes with an option for an intermediate switch. Not only that, but we also have grid switches which can have any combination of intermediate and two way light switches on one plate. They are available in an option of one to four gang grid switches. We also have the same option with grid toggle switches.