When the electrical source originates at a light fixture and it’s controlled from a remote location, a switch loop is used. The circuit pictured here is wired with 2-conductor cable running from the light to the switch location. The white cable wire in this switch loop is wrapped with black tape and connected to the bottom terminal on SW1 and the hot source at the light. The black wire is connected to the top terminal on SW1 and the hot terminal on the light fixture. The neutral from the source is connected directly to the neutral terminal on the light.
This diagram illustrates wiring for a 4 way circuit with the electrical source at the light fixture and the switches coming after. Two-wire cable is run from the light to SW1 and 3-wire cable runs between all the switches. The hot source is spliced through to the common terminal on SW2 and the hot terminal on the light fixture is connected to the common on SW1. The travelers run from SW1 to T1 on the 4 way and from T2 to the travelers on SW2. Note that the white wire is wrapped with black electrical tape when it is used for hot in these circuits.
Here the source is at the receptacle and 2-conductor cable runs from there to SW1. The hot source is spliced to a pigtail that connect to the bottom, always-hot, half on the receptacle and to the white cable wire which continues on to the bottom terminal on SW1. The black cable wire is connected to the top terminal on the split receptacle and runs to the top terminal on SW1. The circuit neutral wire is connected to one of the neutral terminals on the receptacle, it doesn’t run to the switch.
This diagram illustrates the wiring for a split receptacle with the top half controlled by SW1 and the bottom half always hot. The receptacle is split by breaking the connecting tab between the two, brass colored terminals. The tab between the neutral, silver terminals should remain intact.
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