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Old 02-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Here is the light layout...

power source--->light1 and then light1 branches out to light2, light3, and the switch which is a dimmer.

The switch will not work, but the lights will work when the respective breaker is turned on and off. 12-2 wiring is used.

Thanks

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Old 02-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


You do not have enough details to tell for sure, but it sounds like you used xx-2 cable where you actually needed xx-3 cable.

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Old 02-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverine903 View Post
Here is the light layout...

power source--->light1 and then light1 branches out to light2, light3, and the switch which is a dimmer.

The switch will not work, but the lights will work when the respective breaker is turned on and off. 12-2 wiring is used.

Thanks
Well, if your 2nd and 3rd lights and switch all 'branch out' from light 1, then this circuit will work with 12/2/ If however, your arrangement goes from light 1, to light 2, to light 3, to switch, you will need some 12/3. Let us know exactly the layout of the circuit so we can help.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #4
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


here is a diagram. disregard the other lights that have nothing connecting them.

But Light1 which gets the power first has four wires going into it.
One from light2
One from light3
The power source wire
And the wire that leads to the switch
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverine903 View Post
here is a diagram. disregard the other lights that have nothing connecting them.

But Light1 which gets the power first has four wires going into it.
One from light2
One from light3
The power source wire
And the wire that leads to the switch
Then yeah, this is done quite simply. First, take the black from the power coming into the light and connect it with the white going to the switch. Tuck that back into the box. Next twist the 3 remaining blacks together and connect them to the fixture (or pigtail to the fixture) and twist the 3 remaining whites together and connect them to the fixture (or pigtail them to the fixture).
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


ok thanks, i will try that out tonight when i get home from work and let you know how that went.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


The wiring method above does not supply the neutral at the switch box called for by the 2011 NEC.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Is there a better way then to do this then that you have in mind?
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Power into switch box, then out to lights.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Ok i thought of that too, just requires more wire. So instead of having 'power wire' going into light1, have power run all the way to the switch, correct?
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Power into switch box, then out to lights.
First of all, do you live in Canada or US? Canada does not require a neutral at every switch box.

Secondly, if you do live in the US, you can get get a neutral at the switch simply by running 12/3 to the switch from the light instead of 12/2, rather than changing your circuit layout. From what you said, you have all the wire run already, right?
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


yes all the wire is run out already and i live in the US
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverine903 View Post
yes all the wire is run out already and i live in the US
Alright, then yeah, you need a neutral at your switch box as well. You can either redo the layout of your circuit as jim port suggests, or you can simply run a 12/3 to the switch instead of the 12/2 you have run right now. Simply connect the white onto the others in the light box. Also, now you have to take the black from the power source going into the light box and connect it to the red going to the switch.

As for the white at the switch box you now have, you may have to use that for the dimmer you're installing. But if not, just cap it off and tuck it into the box. Presto!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


sorry for sidetrack question-how do you tell which direction the power is going?

i have a light switch that controls a outlet. i want to change it so the switch controls a ceiling light. but i dont know if power source goes to switch or outlet first, or some other way
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by federer View Post
sorry for sidetrack question-how do you tell which direction the power is going?

i have a light switch that controls a outlet. i want to change it so the switch controls a ceiling light. but i dont know if power source goes to switch or outlet first, or some other way
I don`t know why you just don`t start a new topic, but ok whatever. It doesn`t matter which way it`s wired, there`s always going to be one wire on the single-pole switch that it hot and one that is switched. Simply disconnect the wires from the switch and then use a multimeter to test each wire relative to ground. The `hot`wire will read 120 V, the switched wire will read 0V.

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