Single wire run from ceiling gang box to switch gang box

Our house standard wiring in wall are the Romex 14-2 wiring. Since it was built in 1979 so all the hot/neutral wire are inside the ceiling light gang box.

I will either need to run a 14ga single wire from ceiling gang box to the switch gang box or replace the wiring between the two gang box with a 14-3 instead to have a neutral on the switch side.

Anyone know what the code on running just single wire wire from ceiling to switch gang box that is not inside a romex sheathing or insulation ? Is it allowed? Are there single 14 ga with the insulation allowed by code?

I tried Googling but couldn't find a code on this or a NEC code about this.

Or you could use switches that do not require a neutral at the switch. I have the same issue (though my wiring is a bit older) and that's how I solved it. Thank you Lutron Caseta!


Although I can't find chapter and verse, I would bet everything I own that it is against code. Among other things there is only one layer of insulation around the wire, which a cable staple would very easily penetrate. I confess I actually did that once for a ceiling fan, and I lost sleep over it, Went back and did it right.

Alternatively, use a dimmer that doesn't require a neutral.


It is against the code ..

I just asked on an electric forum which had some expert who know the NEC codes .. they said it's a no go ...

and they also said it's no go on single wire either. It's gotta be in romex sheathing or conduit to be inside the wall.

So I gotta replace that 14-2 with a 14-3 romex then.

I have those switches where neutral is not required but my led lights in ceiling are barely glowing when the switch is off.

You can see white eerie glow coming from the ceiling, My kids don't like it either LOL ...

I have one ceiling lights in a remodeled room where there is already a neutral wire in switch gang box, the led light are not giving off any eerie glows when it's off.

I suspect it's drawing tiny current over the led bulb to keep the switch radio powered and where it just using enough current to cause the led to give off that eerie glow.

Yeah, I know about that adapter that you use to bridge the wiring inside the light gang box to prevent flickering and I assume that eerie glow too?

But that like 20 buck each light gang box compared to buying copper wire and spending an hour to run the wirings in wall.

Yes, the adapter adds load to the circuit to drain off the current causing the glow.

Sounds like you have a wiring project, but I'll suggest one other approach if you are lucky. Is there an outlet near the switch (e.g., between the same two studs as the switch but in the room on the other side of the wall). If so, consider running your 14-2 from it to the switch and utilize existing 14-2 to the ceiling fixture for load/neutral. Disconnect power source currently powering the overhead fixture and cap off properly.

Yes, you should consider whether you are overloading the circuit you are tapping into (if different from the ceiling fixture), but in these days of LED, not very likely.


Bedroom ceiling light are tied to the same breakers to the bedroom outlets but there are like two studs in between the switch and outlet.

I still would need to go into attic to get to the light gang box so I’ll just run a 14-3 from ceiling box to switch box. The hot wire is coming from one of the outlet to the light box. Only difficulty I will face is trying to snake a 14-3 through an romex opening in the switch gang box unless I destroy the old gang box and put a new one in it which I might do anyway. The old 14-2 will probably be secured to the stud behind wall so it probably can’t be use to snake a new romex into the switch box.

When I finished my basement a couple of years ago, I did wired it that it went from outlets to the switch box then to ceiling light box before putting the walls up which I wish they did when they built this house.

That's what I would do, assuming the existing box is a plastic nail-on. It becomes sacrificial and lives out its life at the bottom of the inside of your wall. Then you can feed your romex easier and also use a deep old work box to give the smart switch plenty of room.

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Someone on this forum has instructions to make your own bypass jumpers with just some wire and a capacitor I think. Was much cheaper if you need multiples than buying the pre-made ones.

Another option would be to use the existing switches and put a mini relay in the fixture if the boxes are big enough. I have some ZigBee ones I found online for around $10 each, and Zooz makes the ZEN51 which is zwave. I used a ZEN51 in my basement stairs fixture where there is no neutral in the two 3-way boxes, and then mini relays in all the pull chain bulb fixtures.

It the 70’s box not the blue PVC box.. It look more like grey fiberglass at least it the nail on type.

I think i can just take a long screwdriver and pry it away from stud until it fall into the bottomless pit :grinning: between wall.

If prying doesn’t work then there’s always the oscillating saw and I can cut those nails away in between box and stud but i always hated when there like a tiny bit of metal bump left in stud that make the new gang box look like it now at 45 degree angled away from the stud after you tighten the bridge mount on the new box ughhhhhhh

How are those mini relay radio powered?

I already purchased a bunch of involli red series switches 2 years ago but slowly putting it in each room when time allows me. I love it so I am sticking with this brand.

Being deaf, the color led on side alert me what going on in my house. That was the reason I got those switches because of it long clearly viable led light even in day.

Since I will be in attic, I might as well replace the ceiling light gang box and add a cross member stud on it to future proof for ceiling fan.

You can put them in the fixture or the switch box, wherever the neutral is, so it is hard wired. Here is my post about my basement: Need recommendations for unfinished basement lighting - #18 by jtp10181

Here is the thread about the bypass modules, if you go down a few posts someone shows their home made solutions. Looks like some people are talking about using them WITH neutral for low loads, and others for no neutral so not sure if they work for both or it is a different setup. Aeotec Bypass Dimmer - Alternative

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I ordered some 24k 3w resistors today from Digikey place. I am still going to add neutral wire to switch gang box but getting resistors in case if adding neutral wire didn't help stop the eerie leg glowing.

Thanks for sharing the alternative methods and if I wound up using resistors, I might just make a silicone mold to create a housing box for the resistor using a non-flammable resin like those 20 dollar bypass resistors.

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