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Old 02-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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Best option for wiring multiple overhead lights/switches


Hi, I have a 40 year old home with no overhead lights in any of the bedrooms. Currently, each of the rooms has a switch by the door controlling one outlet per room.

At this point, I've ripped out all the sheet rock in one room, and replaced the old wiring with 12/2 (the existing wiring, and what is still in the other rooms, is 14/2). I installed a new 20 Amp circuit breaker for the outlets of the new room, and ran a new line of 14/2, from the existing 15 Amp circuit, up to the attic, which I intend to use 1.) to power the three new overhead lights, and 2.) to power the existing 14/2 circuits that used to be in tandem with the first bedroom, but cannot be now that I have upgraded the circuit to 20 Amps.

My question is... what is the best way to run the new light circuits? Now that I have a 14/2 line to the attic, is it better to run the lights in tandem, running the 14/2 to the first switch, then running a 14/3 to the light fixture so that it can supply a continuous hot circuit to the next switch, and so on, until all three lights are linked? Or, should I us a junction box (say a simple square junction box with a lid - metal?), and simply split that out to four lines - one running to each switch/light, and one to the outlets? 14/2 the whole way, for each line.

If I run them all in tandem, at which point should I drop the line down to the outlets? Does it matter if I do this at the beginning vs the end? For simplicity, I would probably do it at the end, just so I don't have to bring the line back up.

It seems like using the junction box is the easiest, but I have heard it said that it isn't legal to have a junction box like that in the attic, where it is not accessible from the interior of the house.

Any help with these questions, or anything I might be missing will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Paul

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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Best option for wiring multiple overhead lights/switches


Neither way is better than the other. The one that uses the least cable would be my choice.
Do you have an attic access? If you do, then you can reach the box through the attic. It is fine and considered accessible.

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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Best option for wiring multiple overhead lights/switches


Thanks, Joed!
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Best option for wiring multiple overhead lights/switches


Either way is ok. Just make sure you have a neutral at each switch location. You run into problems with occupancy sensors and timers when you don't have neutrals.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Best option for wiring multiple overhead lights/switches


Thanks, iminaquagmire, I think I'm going to use a combination of the two. I'll start with a box, and put a couple of branches out of it (the rooms run two directions from point of entry to the attic). Then I'll run them in tandem out from there. I'll be sure to include the neutral at each switch, I don't want to run into trouble (or cause it for others) down the road.

Paul
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