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DickieFL 11-21-2009 10:14 AM

Adding new circuit for recessed lights....
Hello all,

I recently installed 6 recessed light fixtures in my dining room and am ready to wire them up now. I know my fair share about electricity and wiring, but on airplanes not houses! So here is my situation:

I want to install a 15 amp breaker for this set of lights actuated with a single dimmer switch. I intend to start the circuit at the switch and not the lights. So here are my questions:

1. What do I need to run from the breaker to the switch, 12AWG or 14AWG? And should it be /2 or /3, or does it matter either way. I know you typically would run 12# for a 20A and 14# for a 15A.

2. And what should be run from the switch to the first light in the series, 12/2, 12/3, 14/2 or 14/3?

3. And from the first light to the other 5 lights should probably be 14/3 right?

Thanks for any ideas, I appreciate the help.

kbsparky 11-21-2009 10:16 AM

For six lights on their own circuit, you only need 14/2 for everything. Put it on a 15 Amp breaker.

DickieFL 11-21-2009 10:29 AM

Thanks kbsparky, that sounds great and makes everything easy. So nothing special to do huh, just 14/2 for it all.

DickieFL 11-21-2009 10:40 AM

Come to find out, I already have a 200 ft roll of 12/2. Can I go ahead and run it all on the 12/2 and use a 20A breaker? I mean, I don't see why not, it also leaves me plenty of capability to add to the circuit later if I want.

Jim Port 11-21-2009 01:27 PM

Yes you can use the #12. It will just be oversized for your actual need.

darren 11-21-2009 02:05 PM

If you are in Canada it has to be a 15A circuit, no 20A circuits for lighting.

I'm not sure what type of fixture you have but if it is a dimmable fluroscent you may need a 3 wire feed to the first light and 3 wires in between each light. Take a look at your instructions before running all the wire.

DickieFL 11-21-2009 05:44 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 356160)
Yes you can use the #12. It will just be oversized for your actual need.

Good deal.

Ran the feeder wire from the breaker to the switch and ran the wire from the switch to the first can. I am now going to go wire up the rest of the lights.

Just to make sure though. From the switch to the cans, everything is straight color to color correct? wht to wht, blk to blk and gnd to grn

DickieFL 11-21-2009 08:12 PM

All done, works like a champ! So nice to finally have recessed lights, No more lamps!!! And the dimmer is just the icing on the cake.

Thanks for the replies, its much appreciated.

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