Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-11-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Share |
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


I have a single switch for all lights in the basement. Many don't need to be on at the same time. Is it legal to add a switch to the hot leg for each of the lights. I'm replacing the lights from simple screw in bulb bases to fluorescents.
I would take the 3 wires from the enclosure above the bulb base and run them to the new fixture with a branch in the hot wire to a wall switch and back to the fixture. OK?

Wow you guys are fast. As you can tell I'm not an electrician but I do understand electricity and schematics.
My basement has a single switch that turns on 7 bulbs. I want to use the existent wiring and add a switch to each light. I'll leave the bulb box in place (with a cover) and run new wire from each to the light fixture (7 each). I want to add a switch to the hot lead of each of the new fixtures. I'll be going from incandescent bulbs to florescent lamps so expect to use less power, and with the most most of the lights off anyway, I didn't consider power. I just wanted to know if it was the proper (or best) way to add control to the light fixtures. I don't want to run wire from the main lead in to basement, too expensive & I can't do much work over my head (back problems). I'll turn on the main switch and have an additional switch for each light.


Last edited by wmrhoward; 02-12-2013 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Clarification to original question
wmrhoward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,656
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by wmrhoward View Post
I have a single switch for all lights in the basement.
Many don't need to be on at the same time.
OK... Do that.

My basement has 4 switches set up.
One is a 3way between the top and bottom of the stairs to the kitchen
One is a 3way from the bottom of the stairs to the back door.
One is a small area by the furnace and such.
One is everything else.

Quote:
I'm replacing the lights from simple screw in bulb bases to fluorescents.
OK. Will you keep the metal junction boxes that the current lights mount onto? You should. Get some blank cover plates for when you're done.

Quote:
Is it legal to add a switch to the hot leg...OK?
I'm not sure what you are trying to describe there.

Currently the power for your lights is going from box to box to box.

Find where that starts (look for the light with the door bell transformer or the one closest to the panel).

Split off from there and start running from there.
Plan to run the feed to the switches you want to have...
and from there to which light wherever that may be.

hth


Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-11-2013 at 08:08 PM.
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,992
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


First thing, how many fixtures are we talking about, and what is the wattage & amp rating on the fluorescent fixtures? When I redid our basement, I used one circuit, but have one switch controlling the two fixtures at the front of the basement, and the other switch controlling the two at the back of the basement.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 06:35 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Had this diagram saved. Switch #1 supplies power to switches 2 and 3. Switches 2 and 3 then control their respective lites.
Attached Thumbnails
Add switches to basement lighting circuit-2-switch-2-fans.jpg  
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,992
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


The problem with that, you have to walk across the basement to flip the lights on, while avoiding the land mines that are in your path, when you are walking in the dark.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
The problem with that, you have to walk across the basement to flip the lights on, while avoiding the land mines that are in your path, when you are walking in the dark.
sounds like a personal problem and what happens when you do not want to do something proper.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,663
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by wmrhoward
I have a single switch for all lights in the basement. Many don't need to be on at the same time. Is it legal to add a switch to the hot leg for each of the lights. I'm replacing the lights from simple screw in bulb bases to fluorescents.
I would take the 3 wires from the enclosure above the bulb base and run them to the new fixture with a branch in the hot wire to a wall switch and back to the fixture. OK?
My suggestion is to replace the russels with pull chains. Leave the first russel and change the rest. That way you can select which lights you want on without rewiring. The light from the first russel should cast enough light to illuminate the path to the next light.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.

Last edited by electures; 02-12-2013 at 02:24 PM.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,992
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
sounds like a personal problem and what happens when you do not want to do something proper.
What you drew out is not a proper way of doing it.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 11:52 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


see below

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-12-2013 at 12:26 PM.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by wmrhoward View Post
I'll leave the bulb box in place (with a cover) and run new wire from each to the light fixture (7 each)..
What does the above statement mean?

What is a bulb box?

What is the "each" referring to when you say...and run new wire from each to the light fixture

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-12-2013 at 12:28 PM.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,980
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by wmrhoward View Post
I have a single switch for all lights in the basement. Many don't need to be on at the same time. Is it legal to add a switch to the hot leg for each of the lights. I'm replacing the lights from simple screw in bulb bases to fluorescents.
I would take the 3 wires from the enclosure above the bulb base and run them to the new fixture with a branch in the hot wire to a wall switch and back to the fixture. OK?

Wow you guys are fast. As you can tell I'm not an electrician but I do understand electricity and schematics.
My basement has a single switch that turns on 7 bulbs. I want to use the existent wiring and add a switch to each light. I'll leave the bulb box in place (with a cover) and run new wire from each to the light fixture (7 each). I want to add a switch to the hot lead of each of the new fixtures. I'll be going from incandescent bulbs to florescent lamps so expect to use less power, and with the most most of the lights off anyway, I didn't consider power. I just wanted to know if it was the proper (or best) way to add control to the light fixtures. I don't want to run wire from the main lead in to basement, too expensive & I can't do much work over my head (back problems). I'll turn on the main switch and have an additional switch for each light.
If all the lights are daisy chained from a single switch your suggestion would be rather unusual. As you would have all switches dependant on the first switch being on then the next switch being on etc..... If you wanted to turn all the lights off you would have to go to each switch or the first switch to do that. If you go to the first switch then when you want to turn the lights back on they all will come on then you have to go to each switch at random to get the lights you want on or off. I think you likely do not want this.

If you do then I think electures suggestion would be best
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 02-12-2013 at 12:28 PM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Stubbie For This Useful Post:
electures (02-12-2013)
Old 02-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,663
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Had this diagram saved. Switch #1 supplies power to switches 2 and 3. Switches 2 and 3 then control their respective lites.
That is one way of doing it and there is nothing wrong with it. It's up to the op how he wants it done.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 03:00 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
That is one way of doing it and there is nothing wrong with it. It's up to the op how he wants it done.
Yeah not the ideal way but functional. Ideal way would be 3-way switches.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to hammerlane For This Useful Post:
electures (02-12-2013)
Old 02-12-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Festus, MO
Posts: 39
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Assuming the power comes to the original switch first and then continues to all the light, I would take out that original switch, wirenut the hots and neutrals, and the put a blank cover over the box. Now all the lights are always hot. You could then add a switch loop at each light.
cube17576 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 03:43 PM   #15
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,656
Default

Add switches to basement lighting circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by cube17576 View Post
Assuming the power comes to the original switch first...
You can't assume that because houses weren't built that way.

Plain vanilla lighting in an unfinished basement:
Power is run from the panel to the metal j-box and from there around the room to the other boxes and (keyless) fixtures with their pull string.
The j-box nearest the panel gets the door bell transformer mounted on it.

Most builders will stop at that point (in unfinished basements).
Sometimes... they'll add a switch leg over to the stairwell.

The OP has to do some investigating to determine what has happened in HIS basement since it was first built... and then determine the best way to go about intercepting/changing that (or to just start over altogether).

TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Basement Lighting Yankee1423 Electrical 10 08-04-2010 10:45 PM
Basement Lighting blaze01 Electrical 1 02-16-2010 11:24 AM
Changing a 3 way circuit...using recessed lighting box as a junction box? Oxymoron Electrical 1 12-07-2009 06:46 PM
Tie into existing bath GFI circuit for new basement bath GFI? 8roty Electrical 8 07-27-2009 11:38 PM
Basement Bathroom Circuit design drtpdee Electrical 6 01-03-2008 10:10 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.