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Old 02-15-2012, 07:48 PM   #16
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
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.
thank you. i was going to but i didnt want someone to say i should have did a search since this is my first time in this section.

anyways so i can just pull the wires from the switch and run it up the wall to the ceiling to where my new light will be? i know how to wire (black to black, white to white, green to ground etc) but i wasnt sure if there was a certain direction the wires had to travel. so it doesnt matter.

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #17
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by federer View Post

anyways so i can just pull the wires from the switch and run it up the wall to the ceiling to where my new light will be? i know how to wire (black to black, white to white, green to ground etc) but i wasnt sure if there was a certain direction the wires had to travel. so it doesnt matter.
All you will need is a new piece of 14-2 between the switch and light.

But no, don`t simply disconnect the wires on the switch. There needs to be new connections made inside the switch box so that your previously switched outlet is always `hot`...if that`s what you want.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #18
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
All you will need is a new piece of 14-2 between the switch and light.

But no, don`t simply disconnect the wires on the switch. There needs to be new connections made inside the switch box so that your previously switched outlet is always `hot`...if that`s what you want.
so i cant use the same wire from the outlet and just pull it up to the ceiling.

i should just add a new wire from the switch to the light fixture. wouldnt that make the switch into a junction box then? (meaning one set going to outlet and another going to teh light from the light switch)
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #19
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by federer View Post
so i cant use the same wire from the outlet and just pull it up to the ceiling.

i should just add a new wire from the switch to the light fixture. wouldnt that make the switch into a junction box then? (meaning one set going to outlet and another going to teh light from the light switch)
Yes, you need to just add another 14-2 wire from the switch to the light fixture. And technically speaking, all device boxes are junction boxes, but they are legal junction boxes since they are accessible.

Once you run that new wire, make sure you make the connections inside the switch box so that the previously switched outlet now remains always `hot`(if that`s what you want to do).
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:08 PM   #20
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
Yes, you need to just add another 14-2 wire from the switch to the light fixture. And technically speaking, all device boxes are junction boxes, but they are legal junction boxes since they are accessible.

Once you run that new wire, make sure you make the connections inside the switch box so that the previously switched outlet now remains always `hot`(if that`s what you want to do).
thank you. so that will preserve the outlet for future use.

now here is where it gets tricky for me. suppose instead of putting the new wire from the light switch to the new light fixture, i want to run that new wire to a junction box in the ceiling. then from that box i want to feed 4 more wires for 4 recessed lights.

what i want to do is install recessed lights in my ceiling but there is no existing box. so my idea is to use the light switch to power it. is this safe
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #21
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by federer View Post
thank you. so that will preserve the outlet for future use.

now here is where it gets tricky for me. suppose instead of putting the new wire from the light switch to the new light fixture, i want to run that new wire to a junction box in the ceiling. then from that box i want to feed 4 more wires for 4 recessed lights.

what i want to do is install recessed lights in my ceiling but there is no existing box. so my idea is to use the light switch to power it. is this safe
All of what I told you already is of course assuming that you have a neutral at your switch box. Without providing a picture, I can`t tell for sure, but you need a neutral there if you want to feed it ahead to the ceiling lights. If there`s no neutral, you`ll have to wire it some other way (either run a new wire to the switched outlet or run a wire from the switched outlet to the ceiling light).

Anyways, you should check that out first. As for installing 4 recessed lights, that`s not a problem. However, I recommend not using a junction box in the ceiling (unless you have access to the attic). Instead, just run a piece of 14-2 to the first recessed light, then a piece from the 1st light to the 2nd light, then a piece from the 2nd light to the 3rd light, and so on.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #22
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


thank you. thats good advice about the junction box. my question then is where do i start the run for the first light? from the light switch? or the outlet? i guess it depends which one has a neutral? assuming it does can i run new wire from switch to 1 light -> 2nd light -> 3rd light, etc
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #23
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by federer View Post
thank you. thats good advice about the junction box. my question then is where do i start the run for the first light? from the light switch? or the outlet? i guess it depends which one has a neutral? assuming it does can i run new wire from switch to 1 light -> 2nd light -> 3rd light, etc
Yes.

(In fact, even if there isn;t a neutral at the switch box, the switched wire could be re-identified and used as a neutral. But this would require new connections at both the switch box and the switched outlet(s)).

Sorry, I don`t mean to confuse you. Anyways, just check the switch box first and verify what you have there...
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
Yes.

(In fact, even if there isn;t a neutral at the switch box, the switched wire could be re-identified and used as a neutral. But this would require new connections at both the switch box and the switched outlet(s)).

Sorry, I don`t mean to confuse you. Anyways, just check the switch box first and verify what you have there...
sweet! you have been very helpful. now all i have to do is actually wire the lights from the switch.

my other question is LED bulbs use the same base of regular bulbs right? or do i need to buy special cans that house LED
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #25
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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my other question is LED bulbs use the same base of regular bulbs right? or do i need to buy special cans that house LED
That really depends on what`s available in your area. Yes, you can usually buy special potlights that house LED bulbs. Or you can purchase adapters to screw that can be installed in potlights to allow for LED bulbs. I suggest talking to your local electrical supply store; they will most likely be able to help you with that.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #26
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


thanks man! are you an electrician up there?
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #27
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


No problem, glad I could help. And yes, I am. So if you need any help with the connections once it`s all wired up, feel free to ask.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #28
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
No problem, glad I could help. And yes, I am. So if you need any help with the connections once it`s all wired up, feel free to ask.
i will! i am gonna open up that switch tomorrow and see what i find!
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:26 AM   #29
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Help wiring 3 recessed lights


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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
I don't want to knock Hawkeye's advice (He's an electrician after-all), but just to add on something since I just wired up 3 can lights in one of our apartments myself onto a 3-way switch, I just thought I'd offer some extra input which may clarify some things which may or may not have been said.

For ease of my explanation, I will assume you are only using 12-2 and all the wire is Black, White or Bare. Based on your image (and with the power off), I would take the neutral coming from the breaker, and tie it in to all of the lights (and only the lights, not the switch). That should give you a wing nut in that first can light with about 4 neutrals tied together (one for each light, and one for the breaker to complete the circuit).

Next I would take and mark the white wire which runs to the switch at each end with black electrical tape to signify that it will be a hot line (as is general practice when you can't use a colored wire). Both of the 12-2 wires that run to the switch, the black and the marked white one, are connected to the switch. Then at the main entrance where the breaker line comes in, tie that hot to one of the two which connects to the switch.

Tie the remaining line from the switch to the 3 black lines that feeds the lights. You should have the same amount of wires tied into this wing nut as the neutral. The hot that comes in from the breaker should only go straight to the switch- and none of the lights.

I have a feeling that the reason the switch isn't working is that the switch isn't doing it's job of completing your circuit and something somewhere got mixed up. I hope this helps to clarify and get this post back to your original issue. Good luck

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