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The toggle switch , corridor switch or hotel switch is used in electrical installations to switch "consumers", usually one or more lights , on and off from two points. It is used in small hallways , hallways and rooms with two entrances. For the circuit you need two changeover switches , which are also available on the market under the designation off changeover switches (pure off switches are only produced by most manufacturers for the Eastern European and Asian markets).


Circuit symbol

The outer conductor (L) is connected to one of the two changeover switches at terminal L ( P on older switches  ). This contact is often also color-coded (e.g. red). The same applies to the wire that goes from the second changeover switch to the lamp (so-called "lamp wire", white in the drawing). The colors used for the wires in the drawing are for illustration purposes only - only the protective conductor (PE) must be green-yellow and the neutral conductor (N) must be blue , according to the VDE standards applicable in Germany . These colors as well as red, yellow and green may not be used for other lines.

By separating the two corresponding ones (purple in the drawing) and connecting the four wire ends to a cross switch , the changeover circuit can be expanded to a cross circuit (three switching points or more).


Circuit diagram of a two-way circuit in a coherent representation
The four possible combinations of changeover switches A and B
in a changeover circuit
Out On
3-way switches position 1 uni.svg 3-way switches position 2 uni.svg
3-way switches position 3 uni.svg 3-way switches position 4 uni.svg

If the neutral conductor and protective conductor are carried along to the left changeover switch, a socket can be installed there. If the neutral conductor (and protective conductor) are carried to the right changeover switch, a control lamp can be installed there, which lights up when the lamp is switched on. If glow lamps are inserted between the two red wires, they light up when the lamp is switched off. This is possible at both changeover switches.

Further versions of the two-way circuit


  • A.Senner: Electrical engineering. 4th edition. Verlag - Europa-Lehrmittel, 1965.
  • Winfrid Hauke, Rolf Thaele, Günter Reck: RWE Energie Bau-Handbuch. 12th edition. Energie-Verlag, Heidelberg 1998, ISBN 3-87200-700-9 .

Web links

Commons : Toggle switching  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. VDE 0293-308 Identification of the cores of cables / lines and flexible lines with colors January 2003