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Identifying what type of Light Switch you have

Wemo® makes multiple Light Switches for your lighting needs.  Before you purchase a Wemo Light Switch, you need to identify what type of light switch you currently have to help decide what is the best Wemo Light Switch for you.  

This article will walk you through the two ways to check what type of light switch is installed in your wall
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1.  Identifying by the number of switches controlling the light

An easy way to tell what type of switch you have is by knowing how many are being used to control a light.  Below are the most common setups and which Wemo is best for each.  


NOTE:  For accuracy in identifying what type of light switch you have, checking by the wiring is recommended.

a.)  Single light switch (Single Pole/Single Throw) – If there is only one light switch controlling your light, then it is most likely a Single Pole/Single Throw switch.  This switch only functions to turn a light ON or OFF.  You generally find these controlling a single room such as an entryway, bathroom or living room.  
 
The following Wemo Light Switches can be used to replace this type of switch:
  • Wemo Smart Light Switch –  F7C030 
  • Wemo Light Switch – WLS040
  • Wemo WiFi Smart 3-Way Light Switch – WLS0403
  • Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer – F7C059
 
b.)  Two light switches (Single Pole/Double Throw) – If there are two light switches controlling your light, then this is a 3-Way circuit featuring two Single Pole/Double Throw 3-Way light switches.  These switches allow you to turn ON and OFF a light.  These are generally found in hallways, stairways or areas with multiple entry or exit points.

The following Wemo Light Switch can be used to replace this type of switch:
  • Wemo WiFi Smart 3-Way Light Switch – WLS0403

c.)  Three light switches (Single Pole/Double Throw and Double Pole/Double Throw) – If you have three light switches controlling a light, then this is a 4-Way circuit.  This circuit will generally have a mix of 3-Way light switches and 4-Way light switches.  This setup allows you to control a light at multiple locations and is usually found in large rooms.

 
The following Wemo Light Switch can be used to replace any 3-Way light switches in this circuit:
  • Wemo WiFi Smart 3-Way Light Switch – WLS0403
 
Currently, Wemo does not have a 4-Way switch.  If your 4-Way circuit has a 3-Way switch in it, you can replace that switch with a Wemo 3-Way Light Switch.
 

 
2.  Identifying by the wiring
 
The most accurate way to find out what type of switch you have is by removing the switch from the wall and inspecting the wires connected to it.  
 
IMPORTANT:  Before doing this method, it is highly recommended to turn OFF the power of your light switches from your circuit breaker panel or fuse box to reduce the chance of an electric shock.
 
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a.)  Single light switch (Single Pole/Single Throw) – A Single Pole/Single Throw light switch is, generally, the only switch controlling a light.  It is easy to identify as it has the least amount of wires connected to it and in the gang box.  Since a Single Pole/Single Throw light switch only turns a light ON or OFF, it will usually have two screw terminals with the black Load/Line wires connected to it.  In your gang box, you should also see two white neutral wires connected together and possibly a ground wire.
 
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IMPORTANT:  All Wemo Light Switches require a neutral wire to be present for installation.  If you do not see a neutral wire, you will not be able to install your Wemo Light Switch for this light.  You should consult a professional electrician instead.
 
The following Wemo Light Switches can be used to replace this type of switch:
  • Wemo Smart Light Switch –  F7C030 
  • Wemo Light Switch – WLS040
  • Wemo WiFi Smart 3-Way Light Switch – WLS0403
  • Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer – F7C059
 
b.)  Three-Way light switches (Single Pole/Double Throw) – Three-Way light switches are used in pairs to control lights.  A 3-Way light switch can be identified by the extra wire connected to it for the 3-Way switching.  A 3-Way light switch will have one Line/Load wire and two traveler wires connected to it.  The traveler wires are used to connect the two light switches together while the Line/Load wires are used to connect to your incoming AC line and your light.  In your gang box, you should also see two white neutral wires connected together and possibly a ground wire.
  
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IMPORTANT:  All Wemo Light Switches require a neutral wire to be present for installation.  If you do not see a neutral wire, you will not be able to install your Wemo Light Switch for this light.  In such case, you should consult a professional electrician.
 
The following Wemo Light Switch can be used to replace this type of switch:
  • Wemo WiFi Smart 3-Way Light Switch – WLS0403
 
c.)  Four-Way light switches (Double Pole/Double Throw) – Four-Way light switches are used in circuits along with 3-Way light switches to control a light with multiple switches.  

Currently, Wemo does not make a Light Switch that can replace a 4-Way light switch.  If you wish to install a Wemo Light Switch in a 4-Way circuit, you will need to locate a 3-Way switch on that circuit to replace instead.
 
Four-Way light switches can be identified by their four screw terminals which will all have wires connected to them.  A ground wire may be present in the gang box.  The ground wire may be connected to the light switch (but not always).

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