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10-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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## how many lights in a circuit as per code

It is my intention to place 24 pot lights around

the perimeter of the house.

24 lights of 50 watts, having of total of 1200

watts.

1200 watts divided by 120 volts gives me 10 amps.

I have placed a new breaker of 15 amps. Wich lead

me to think that I will be OK.

The question that I have is: How many lights I am

allowed asper code in one circuit.

IT is 12 lights ONLY????

10-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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what country?

If the US, there is no limit by quantity. It is determined by load, or more correctly, possible load.

If the max wattage listed on the lights is 50 watt or 60 watt, you are fine.

If they will accept a 75 or even a 100 watt, you need to have fewer lights or a bigger (amperage) circuit.

figure 80% of the breaker as max load. Lights, although they are not considered to be a continuous load generally, calculating them as if they were gives you a margin of safety in the calculations.

Last edited by nap; 10-03-2010 at 01:25 AM.

 10-02-2010, 08:55 PM #3 Wire Chewer     Join Date: Jun 2009 Location: Ontario, Canada Posts: 3,320 Rewards Points: 68 In Canada it's 12 items per circuit.

10-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Red Squirrel In Canada it's 12 items per circuit.
so, is a string of 100 Christmas lights 1 string or 100 lights?

10-02-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by nap so, is a string of 100 Christmas lights 1 string or 100 lights?
Hmm not sure, think you could go as long as you want. The plug they plug into, would count as one item. Outlet is the proper term, now that I think about it. An Outlet can be a receptacle, light, etc.

10-02-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Red Squirrel Hmm not sure, think you could go as long as you want. The plug they plug into, would count as one item. Outlet is the proper term, now that I think about it. An Outlet can be a receptacle, light, etc.
I know. I was just picking on ya RS. That 12 count thing is a strange limitation to me. I just cannot justify the rule.

 10-02-2010, 11:42 PM #7 Electrician   Join Date: Nov 2005 Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Posts: 1,286 Rewards Points: 778 Nap the rule does not make any sense to me either but it does stop people from overloading there circuits. The 12 items on the circuit does have an exemption that most people do not know about. If you know the connected load you can put more then 12 items on a circuit as long as you don't go above 80% of the breaker. So if you have potlights that have a max bulb of 50W(.42A) you could put 28 on a 15A circuit. Your question about the christmas lights would be the plug counts as one outlet and you can put as many as the circuit can handle. A 4 light vanity in your bathroom would be 1 outlet. An outlet is described as a point in wiring installation at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment. Last edited by darren; 10-02-2010 at 11:46 PM.
 10-03-2010, 12:00 AM #8 Member     Join Date: Mar 2005 Location: Welland, Ontario Posts: 12,601 Rewards Points: 11,994 Blog Entries: 11 The limit of 12 is in the Canadian code code. However if it is lights only the limit can be exceeded if you use the max wattage of the fixture and keep it under 80% (1440 watts). It must be only lights. There can be even on receptacle or you are limited to 12.
10-03-2010, 12:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
 arren;510567] The 12 items on the circuit does have an exemption that most people do not know about. If you know the connected load you can put more then 12 items on a circuit as long as you don't go above 80% of the breaker. So if you have potlights that have a max bulb of 50W(.42A) you could put 28 on a 15A circuit.
so a similar rule to us in the US.

actually the limit of 12 is not a bad idea for receps although I tend to limit it to less than that even if it is my design and choice.

Quote:
 Your question about the christmas lights would be the plug counts as one outlet and you can put as many as the circuit can handle. A 4 light vanity in your bathroom would be 1 outlet.An outlet is described as a point in wiring installation at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.
hold on. Let me confirm that in each of the 5 or so editions of the NEC I happen to own as a result of being a pro electrician.

it really was a joke for RS.

10-03-2010, 12:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by nap what country? If the US, there is no limit by quantity. It is determined by load, or more correctly, possible load. If the max wattage listed on the lights is 50 amp or 60 amp, you are fine. If they will accept a 75 or even a 100 watt, you need to have fewer lights or a bigger (amperage) circuit. figure 80% of the breaker as max load. Lights, although they are not considered to be a continuous load generally, calculating them as if they were gives you a margin of safety in the calculations.
Nap can you proof read it I know you hit the typo I know you say watts instead of amps so give you a head up.

Now to OP this what I useally do and yeah I am electrician as well.

What I do is take the max wattage rating of each can luminaire and add them up to see how far I can go to load up the circuit so if the can have 120 watts like example then I can go 12 cans on this circuit that is max on 15 amp circuit { I know I can load it up to max of 1800 watts but I rather leave a little margin there }

so you have to plan it ahead a little.

Merci.
Marc

10-03-2010, 01:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
 =frenchelectrican;510596]Nap can you proof read it I know you hit the typo I know you say watts instead of amps so give you a head up.
actually I said amp instead of watts after 50 and 60.

thanks.

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