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Polarstar 06-10-2008 05:38 PM

Add Two Lights to Existing Switch
Hi, everyone! I have a switched ceiling fixture in my entryway. I would like to add two more fixtures within a few feet of the original fixture, ending up with 3 separate lights hanging instead of one. I need the existing switch to work them all.

I want to use 3 rice-paper shades on hanging pendants, so my original thought was to go into the attic and wire a power bar in to the existing fixture, then use plug-in lamp kits for the two additional lights. After reading through the forum, though, that sounds like a dangerous way to do it.

However, I still don't understand the proper way to accomplish adding the two fixtures.

I changed the light fixture when I bought the house, so I know there are no surprises on the fixture box thingy - one black wire, one white wire, and a ground.

I would greatly appreciate your help and expertise. Thanks!

220/221 06-10-2008 05:48 PM

You need to:

A) Remove the plug on the fixtures and install an appropriate canopy/jbox

B) Install outlets in the ceiling to plug them in.

Ikea lights can be easy to hardwire or they can be really difficult. It sounds like a very lightweight fixture and you can get a canopy with a grommet like connector that holds the cable securely. Then it's just a matter of cutting in your boxes in the ceiling and running the wire between them.

joed 06-10-2008 05:48 PM

Install new boxes where you want you new fixtures. Add new cable from the old fixture box to the new fixture boxes. Connect all the wires by matching the colours.

Polarstar 06-10-2008 06:01 PM

Thanks for your quick reply, 220/221! Ah, if only we had in Ikea here in the middle of the bald prairie....! I was thinking of using a kit from Home Depot, but I'm guessing it'd be similar to the Ikea setup.

What is a canopy or j (junction?) box? Is it the hexagonal metal thing that gets screwed to the joist, where the wires join? If so, I figured I'd need to install two of them, no problem there. The problem is that I don't know how to string the wiring from the existing fixture to the new boxes.

Sorry, this must be a very elementary question for you!

Polarstar 06-10-2008 06:10 PM


Originally Posted by joed (Post 129357)
Install new boxes where you want you new fixtures. Add new cable from the old fixture box to the new fixture boxes. Connect all the wires by matching the colours.

Thank you, Joe, that sounds doable for me! The house came with a box of Romex 14/2, so I'm set. Just need a little clarification...

Do I connect the new boxes sequentially, first one then the other; or do I connect two strings of new cable to the wires at the old fixture box and connect both new boxes at the same time?

Do I "unground" the ground wire on the old fixture box, connect it to the ground wire on the new cable, then ground it on the new fixture box?

joed 06-10-2008 08:48 PM

You can connect which ever way uses the least cable. If the new lights are one on either side of the old then run a cable from each new one to the old one. If they are both to one side of the old fixture then run to new #1 then new #2.
If the box is metal it needs to be grounded. Connect all the ground together in all the boxes.

The 14/2 cable you have is only good if the breaker for this circuit is 15 amps.

220/221 06-10-2008 11:49 PM

The canopy is the dome shaped part that covers the wire connections at the top of the fixture where it mounts to the ceiling junction box. It will have a gripping bushing of some sort to hold the cord on lightweight fictures.

For fixtures under 5 pounds or so, you can use a "cut in" box that hangs from tabs on the drywall instead of the joists.

It doesn't matter hiow you run your cables, just go color to color in the j boxes and make sure your wirenuts are TIGHT!!!

Polarstar 06-11-2008 01:04 PM

Thank you, Joe and 220/221, your help is very much appreciated!

nails4u 06-28-2008 02:13 PM

what if your power source is coming straight into one of the ceiling fixtures? like so (source + f-1 + f-2 + dimmer + rec./outlet + etc...

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