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Thread: wiring multiple lights with switch at the end of run

  1. #1

    Default wiring multiple lights with switch at the end of run

    I have seen a few messages regarding this topic but I am very new to this and I want to be sure i get it right. What I am doing is installing 4 can lights with the switch at the end of the run. I am familiar with wiring just one light but I am still unclear on multiple lights. Can someone explain the wiring on the lights and pretend you are talking to a third grader. After you explain it, I should be able to figure it out but will they be wired in series or parallel. Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Default Few questions

    A few questions: When you say your switch is at the end of the run, are you saying you will have two or more switches? If so, then tell us where the switches are located in reference to each other. Also, how old is your home--just curious.

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  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm1
    A few questions: When you say your switch is at the end of the run, are you saying you will have two or more switches? If so, then tell us where the switches are located in reference to each other. Also, how old is your home--just curious.

    Write back!
    Sorry, I guess I should explain my project. Maybe "end of run" wasn't the right term to use. The house is 15 years old and I am finishing the basement. I am wanting to bring the power in to the lights first and then run to the switch, a switch loop I guess. I am wanting to use just one switch to control all 4 lights. Is this possible?....and okay according to code?

  4. #4
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    Default Switch

    It's perfectly fine to use one switch to control one or more lights. Educational note: It's ok to control one or more lights from a switch, but the question is, "can your circuit handle the load." For instance (This is a wild example): If I added 5 wall sconces and 9 recessed cans at 60 watts ea, to a 15 amp 120v circuit ( 80 % of 1800 watts max recommended) that already had 80 percent of the recommended load. I would then be overloading that circuit. Just some food!
    Last edited by Ohm1; December 29th, 2003 at 10:43 PM. Reason: mispell
    Learning brings success. While you are waiting, I'm getting better!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm1
    It's perfectly fine to use one switch to control one or more lights. Educational note: It's ok to control one or more lights from a switch, but the question is, "can your circuit handle the load." For instance (This is a wild example): If I added 5 wall sconces and 9 recessed cans at 60 watts ea, to a 15 amp 120v circuit ( 80 % of 1800 watts max recommended) that already had 80 percent of the recommended load. I would then be overloading that circuit. Just some food!
    I made sure that the load isn't going to exceed the maximum, I did the calculations when I was mappign out the circuits. Back to the initial question, can you tell me what the wiring will look like to the lights and to the switch? Or do you know of a good diagram on the internet? Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
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    Default Switch

    Above--Under title: SWITCH/FAN/LIGHT wiring options-- this forum provides the information you need. If you are in need of futher information, then get back to us, and we will gladly help you. Sorry for not responding fully, but I had to step away after the ED. post.
    Learning brings success. While you are waiting, I'm getting better!

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dhancock
    I have seen a few messages regarding this topic but I am very new to this and I want to be sure i get it right. What I am doing is installing 4 can lights with the switch at the end of the run. I am familiar with wiring just one light but I am still unclear on multiple lights. Can someone explain the wiring on the lights and pretend you are talking to a third grader. After you explain it, I should be able to figure it out but will they be wired in series or parallel. Thanks!!
    I need to clear up how you want to connect the lights.
    Is the power coming into the 1st light then the other lights then the switch.
    as
    1.power - L1 -L2 - L3 - L4 - switch.
    or
    2. power - sw - L1 - L2 - L3 - L4
    or
    3. power - L1 - SW and L1 - L2 - L3 - L4

    Option 1 requires 14/3 between L1 - L2 - L3 - L4
    Option 2 & 3 requires only the use 14/2.

    Tell me which option you intend to use and I will tell you the wire connections.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joed
    I need to clear up how you want to connect the lights.
    Is the power coming into the 1st light then the other lights then the switch.
    as
    1.power - L1 -L2 - L3 - L4 - switch.
    or
    2. power - sw - L1 - L2 - L3 - L4
    or
    3. power - L1 - SW and L1 - L2 - L3 - L4

    Option 1 requires 14/3 between L1 - L2 - L3 - L4
    Option 2 & 3 requires only the use 14/2.

    Tell me which option you intend to use and I will tell you the wire connections.

    Option 1 is what Im working with. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Ok here's the connections
    At light 1
    power cable(14/2) black to L2 cable(14/3) black.
    All whites (3) together including L1 white.
    L1 black to red from L2 cable.

    At L2 L3 same connecton at both lights
    Black to black
    All white(3) together
    Black from light to reds(2) from both cables.

    At last light
    White from L3 to L4 white
    Black from L3 to White to switch.Remark the white black with tape or a marker.
    Black from switch to black from L4 and red to L3.

    At switch.

    Black on one screw white on other screw. Remark white black with tape or marker.

    Connect all grounds in all boxes.

    If this circuit is on a 20 amp breaker all wires should be #12 instead of #14.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joed
    Ok here's the connections
    At light 1
    power cable(14/2) black to L2 cable(14/3) black.
    All whites (3) together including L1 white.
    L1 black to red from L2 cable.

    At L2 L3 same connecton at both lights
    Black to black
    All white(3) together
    Black from light to reds(2) from both cables.

    At last light
    White from L3 to L4 white
    Black from L3 to White to switch.Remark the white black with tape or a marker.
    Black from switch to black from L4 and red to L3.

    At switch.

    Black on one screw white on other screw. Remark white black with tape or marker.

    Connect all grounds in all boxes.

    If this circuit is on a 20 amp breaker all wires should be #12 instead of #14.

    I see what my problem was. That was exactly what I needed. Thanks a million!

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