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Old 02-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


Any knowledge is much appreciated!!!

I am finishing my basement and have questions about the current lights down there. I'm not really sure what to do with them. I am drywalling the ceiling and will have cans. Should I run new wires to my cans and divide them up on separate circuits? I will have a total of about 34 cans down there. Not sure how people deal with the lights and wires the builders put in when the house is built. The house is 3 years old, so everything is done to code. So my questions are...

All but the range is being ran off my 100 amp Sub panel.

1. What to do with the existing lights and wires (3 regular lights ran off the main switch into the basement AND 4 regular lights on a separate circuit on pull strings) on two 15 amp circuits.

2. Main sitting and TV area (figuring on 16 can lights).
-The cans are 75 watt max. Will I have to put these on two circuits or will they work on one 20amp.

3. Outlets - number on each circuit will depend on usage.

4. Full kitchen \ Bar (4-6 can lights)
-2 20amp for GFCI outlets.
-1 20 amp for dishwasher.
-1 20 amp for Microwave (does this have to be alone)
-1 20 amp for fridge.
-1 40 amp for the range
Is there anything here I can combine and put on the same circuit do the lights need their own?

5. Full Bath (one can light, fan, and vanity lights)
-1 20 amp for GFCI (can I run the lights and fan off of this too)
-1 20 amp for lights and fan if I can't run off the GFCI Circuit

6. Game room (4 can lights and 4 outlets) - Can this be ran off one 20amp?

7 Home theater room (6 can lights, rope light, 7 outlets)
- One 20 amp for the lights and outlets.
- Projector on it's own 15 amp circuit
- 2 20 amp circuits for the equipment rack (Receiver, DVD, cable box, Computer, Xbox) Not everything will be on all at once.

Please let me know what you would do different or if there is a simpler way of doing this.

Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


I'm finishing my basement right now and I too installed can lights, but only in my HT room. I only have 6 total lights, but I paired them up and put each pair on their own dimmer. However, all 6 lights are on the same circuit. Having multiple dimmers will be nice so as to dim lights closer to the TV and have them brighter in the back of the room near the bar area.

Myself, I like to have more circuits than necessary. Here's why. Say you're in your living room and you have everything (receptacles and lights) all on one circuit. Then one day, your breaker trips. Now you have to start looking into every outlet, switch, light, and of course wiring to determine where the problem resides. However, if you have it broken out more modularly, then you can more easily refine the problem source.

In my HT room, I have 3 circuits. One for the can lights, one for the wall which my HT components will reside, and one for the 2 remaining walls (which encompasses 7 total outlets). The 4th wall is shared with a home office and only has 2 outlets which really won't be used much/at all, so I tied those into the office circuit.

Hope that makes sense. Others will say to put only what's needed as it will add more confusion (although I don't know how if everything is properly labeled) or is wasteful. I respect their opinions as they are likely more knowledgeable and experienced than i am with home wiring/layout. However, I work with low voltage applications (distribution) and troubleshooting is MUCH easier when you can easily isolate components so as to quickly identify the area causing the problem.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


#1 If this all that is one these 2 circuits I would add the lights to these

#2 What bulbs are you going to use ?
16 cans x 75w = 1200w - they could be added to the 2 circuits that already exist

#4 Add lights to an existing circuit if there is "room"
I load lighting circuits up to the full 1800w available on a 15a circuit
The rest need dedicated circuits

#5 Bathrooms require a 20s circuits that can feed outlets ONLY in multiple bathrooms
OR
One bathroom lights & outlets
But I would add the light to a lighting circuit

#6 I keep outlets & lights seperate
Run 1 circuit for the outles & add the lights to a lighting circuit

#7 Same idea

I add up all the lights & determine how much spare room I have on existing lighting circuits
I'm using 13w CFL's in a lot of the cans, so I'm not worried about the load too much

(2) 20a for the rack = 4800w...does anything really take that much power ?
I'm lucky if my audio setup uses 100w
A big old power sucking plasma TV may use 700w
Newer ones use a lot less & my 42" LCD uses just over 100w
How much power does the projector take ?
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:26 AM   #4
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
#1 If this all that is one these 2 circuits I would add the lights to these - I think there are also outlets on these as well. There are only two outlets in the basement now. I don't know if they ran outlets to the upstairs on these as well.

#2 What bulbs are you going to use ?
16 cans x 75w = 1200w - they could be added to the 2 circuits that already exist - I will probably use the Fluorescent 20 watt bulbs

#4 Add lights to an existing circuit if there is "room"
I load lighting circuits up to the full 1800w available on a 15a circuit
The rest need dedicated circuits - But you can only put 600 or 1000 watts on a switch, right?

#5 Bathrooms require a 20s circuits that can feed outlets ONLY in multiple bathrooms
OR
One bathroom lights & outlets
But I would add the light to a lighting circuit - The bathtroom is next to the game room. I could tie the lights into the game room lights.

#6 I keep outlets & lights seperate
Run 1 circuit for the outles & add the lights to a lighting circuit

#7 Same idea

I add up all the lights & determine how much spare room I have on existing lighting circuits
I'm using 13w CFL's in a lot of the cans, so I'm not worried about the load too much

(2) 20a for the rack = 4800w...does anything really take that much power ?
I'm lucky if my audio setup uses 100w
A big old power sucking palsma TV may use 700w
Newer ones use a lot less & my 42" LCD uses just over 100w
How much power does the projector take ?

- You make a good point. Projector uses 282 watts. I am going to be running 2 42" plasmas and a 50" LCD as well in the basement. I think I should be safe though because I won't really have anything else plugged in, plus they will be separated on different circuits.

Thanks for the info and help guys!!
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


I don't think this was mentioned, but I'd make all outlet circuits 20 amps. You never know what you might want to plug in some day and the cost is not that much more.

Also, can I come over? This sounds like a sweet basement!
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I don't think this was mentioned, but I'd make all outlet circuits 20 amps. You never know what you might want to plug in some day and the cost is not that much more.

Also, can I come over? This sounds like a sweet basement!
The majority of my circuits are going to be 20amp, I don't see a downside to it. I would rather have more than....not enough.

Anytime! If you ever come to the booming state of Kentucky let me know.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


Switches are rated for 15a
Dimmers are rated 600w/1000w etc
If you use CFL's & want them to dim make sure you get dimmable CFL's

I have one lighting circuit that has 2 dining room outlets on it - so I have never added lights to that circuit
I have since added another circuit in the Dining room just in case
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #8
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


I'm hoping this is all getting inspected, since you are creating an apartment with the kitchen your inspections may have certain requirements you have to meet. have you gone over this with them?
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #9
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


I'm putting a full "kitchen" in my great room
It's doesn't require any special Inspection, permit or requirements
Once you have a countertop/sink you are required to have 2 dedicated circuits for that countertop
You are not required to have a stove, DW, sink, microwave or anything else
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #10
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'm putting a full "kitchen" in my great room
It's doesn't require any special Inspection, permit or requirements
Once you have a countertop/sink you are required to have 2 dedicated circuits for that countertop
You are not required to have a stove, DW, sink, microwave or anything else

That's how it is where I live as well. Just 2 dedicated GFI circuits. It's fine to have a full range in the basement as well, nothing special required.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:22 AM   #11
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Finishing basment...light questions and more.


but he is putting those in
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