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Thread: Connecting leads of ighting fixture to twisted solid conductors

  1. #1

    Default Connecting leads of ighting fixture to twisted solid conductors

    So glad to have found a forum specifically for Canadians!

    Quick question about connecting a lighting fixture. I have an octagonal ceiling box (245 ml) to which power comes in, a line going out to a switch for the light, and power goes out to two other lights (controlled by the same switch). I am trying to minimize the # of wire nuts for box fill reasons.

    So I have 8 insulated conductors, a wire nut connecting the switch to the power hot (black->white marked black), a wire nut connecting the neutrals, a wire nut connecting all the grounds, and wire nut connecting the hots from the lights to the switch. Total is 10 conductors which is the max allowed according to table 23 of the 2012 CEC. See attached pic - black is hot, yellow neutral, red wire nuts.

    Finally the question. Can I connect a luminaire to the box by connecting the stranded leads (#16) of the fixture across where the hots and neutrals of the other two lights are tied together by wrapping the stranded leads around the twisted solid conductors and capping it with a wire nut. Or do I have to pigtail out a separate single wire for the fixture? In this case I will need another set of wire nuts and will need to get a bigger box.

    Thank you so much!

    P.S. I know I could wire it differently and avoid this problem by not having a central fixture going out to two boxes, but this was the best way in terms of neatness / access.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Kent, WA


    You should be able to (definitely OK in the US). Those small stranded wires can be a pain to nut compared to the larger solid ones. Make the stripped section long, twist it, and then wrap it around the other solid conductors (follow one of the grooves between two solid wires) making sure it is a bit longer than the solid ones. That usually allows the wire nut to grab the stranded wire first. If it is shorter than the solids, the nut tends to just push the stranded wire up instead of grabbing it. Tug on those luminaire wires when done to make sure the nut grabbed them.
    Kent, WA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Welland Ontario


    No need for pigtails. Put the fixture leads in the nuts with the other wires.

  4. #4


    I agree no need for pigtails.

    However, a pigtail, by code is not considered box fill. 12-3034 (1)(c) "A conductor of which no part leaves the box shall not be counted"

    BUT a thing to consider: does your light fixture attach to the box with a stud or a hickey?(if you don't know what it is, google it) 12-3034(2)(a) "add one conductor if the box contains a fixture stud or hickey."

    so you might be over your maximum 10 by 1.
    The best answer is ALWAYS: ask your local electrical inspector

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by suemarkp View Post
    Tug on those luminaire wires when done to make sure the nut grabbed them.
    Amen. That's a great tip, IMHO. The wire nuts I used in my last project (ceiling fan) seemed to be fine when I installed them, but when I checked the connections just before closing everything up, 2 of the braided wires (from the fan remote control module) let go after a good tug. I triple checked everything after that.

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