Well, a couple, anyway.
First, why are they called “Three-way?” They seem to me to only be two-way. Two switches, one light. Either one can turn on the light. Four-way I could understand, but three-way?
Second (my real question), is there a way I can replace one of the switches with a timer? Like a cheap, plug-in-the-wall timer that will turn the lights on at 6 PM and off at 11PM so the burglars think somebody’s at home?
I have a breeze-way between the house and a detached garage. In the breeze-way, there is a chandelier. I would like to put that light on a timer so that it would turn on at, say, 6 PM and off at, say 11PM. The switch in the garage is never used, so it would be perfect if the switch in the house would turn the light off and on, but if the inside switch was “off” the timer would still turn the light on. If the inside switch was “on”, then I would want the timer to have no effect.
I’m guessing that if I replaced the inside switch with a SPST switch to the light (black wire), and replace the garage switch with an outlet (to plug my timer into) attach the outlet to an unswitched live line and neutral and take the black wire in the garage side, put a plug on it and plug it into the timer. Or, is there some better way? A light sensing switch mounted outside would be not as desirable since it wold have the light on all night, which is what I am trying to avoid.