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Old 11-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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How many light switches?


***Updated.

Below is the switch I have decided to go with. I am going to run 3 switches in one box and two in the other. My question is can I just wire all of the hots together and the grounds together? Since this switch has pigtails it should be easy.












I was wondering how many light switches can I power off of one power running into the box? I have five switches I need to power in my theater room. I have two power runs coming off of my outlets. Each power run has 5 outlets that will hardly be used.

Would it be better to get a 3 gang box and 2 gang box and do it that way? Will it he hard to pig tail 3 switches in one box?

It is a 12-2 wire \ 20 amp.

The switches will be dimmers and power

1 switch - 4 6" cans
1 switch - 2 6" cans
1 switch - 3 3" cans (screen lights)
1 switch - ceiling rope light
1 switch - 2 step lights

Let me know how you guys would do it.

Thanks


Last edited by Abs777; 11-05-2010 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Updated
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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How many light switches?


I have tied up to 5 wires together under wire nuts. I have learned that it is important to pay attention to details here. Make sure the wires are twisted together before adding the wire nut. Make sure that the metal threads of the wire nut contact the conductor and not insulation. Check each conductor to see that they don't easily pull out.

On thing I have learned at this forum: when including multiple dimmers in a single box, one often has to derate the capacity of the dimmers. I assume that this is due to heat dissipation issues. It appears you may have to consider this.

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
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How many light switches?


If you have to wire nut a lot of wires together, you could break it into 2 wirenuts with a short pigtail between them. Assuming you have room in the box. 12/2 is not easy to work with in tight space.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #4
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How many light switches?


The other side of the wall that these switches are mounted on is unfinished. Would it be easier to run these into a junction box and pigtail there and then just run single wires into the switch boxes?
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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How many light switches?


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Would it be easier to run these into a junction box and pigtail there and then just run single wires into the switch boxes?
Hard to say if easier. Probably.

If you intend never to cover the open side and maintain access to the junction box, then this might work well.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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How many light switches?


The size of the cans is not relevant. What is relevant is the maximum wattage rating of the cans. What is the wattage of those lights you listed. On a 20 amp circuit you have a limit of 2400 watts available on a 20 amp circuit.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:45 PM   #7
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How many light switches?


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Originally Posted by joed
The size of the cans is not relevant. What is relevant is the maximum wattage rating of the cans. What is the wattage of those lights you listed. On a 20 amp circuit you have a limit of 2400 watts available on a 20 amp circuit.
I just gave sizes to give a visual.

I am way below max on watts. 75 watts per can.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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How many light switches?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abs777 View Post
I just gave sizes to give a visual.

I am way below max on watts. 75 watts per can.
I understand that but there one thing you have to keep in your mind the way the electricians will sized the circuit is follow the max wattage of each luminaire espcally with recessed cans they can go anywhere from 50 to much as 150 watts per can { depending on size of can and IC or non IC }

So you can understand why we go this route which we do that in USA part and I am pretty sure the Canada do the same thing as well.

Here the example if the can rated for 120 watts max so therefore 6X 120 = 720 watts then add 3 inch cans { they can go much as 75 watts (I have see it before )} X 3 = 225 watts and the rope light it depending on type and length but to be safe it will be about 100 or less watts so use 100 watts figure unless you have super long rope that will add up fast.

Stairway typically use 25 watts bulbs { but they will rated anywhere from 25 to 60 watts so I will go with max rating unless it stamped in your unit } so it will come up 120 watts

720
225
100
120
____
1165 watts total so you are just fine on 20 amp circuit if nothing else share this circuit.

But just watch the dimmer rating when you use the recessed cans.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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How many light switches?


updated with new question....see first thread.

Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:37 AM   #10
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How many light switches?


Quote:
My question is can I just wire all of the hots together and the grounds together? Since this switch has pigtails it should be easy.
I use a lot of home automation enable switches. These, too, have pigtails for connections. Wiring all the hots and grounds together is exactly how I do it. Three wires from the switches, plus the supply, should be pretty easy. Of course, the loads would have separate wires.

One thing to watch for, however. My experience is that switch pigtails tend to be braided wire. I have found these to be a little harder to tie together with wire nuts. Make sure you have good, metal-to-metal contact with the conductors. Give each a good tug to ensure none easily come loose.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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How many light switches?


Thanks so much for the response!

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