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Old 09-16-2012, 05:46 AM   #1
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Lighting Circuit Questions


I'm doing a kitchen remodel, and I have a few questions regarding a lighting circuit.

1) My original lighting consisted of 2 flush mounted fixtures, one in the kitchen, and one in the eating area. Those were upgraded to a combination of 4 can lights (which I'm using LED lamps), and 2 3" fixtures with 50W lamps. Both of these are switched separately. The flush mounted fixture for the eating area is being relocated, and a chandelier will replace it. This will be switched separately. I'm estimating the total power between all the fixtures is approximately 350-400W.

2) Originally, I had switches all over the kitchen and eating area to control the original lights. I want to consolidate them into a 3 gang box. However, the only lighting circuit I have available in that area is the one that originally fed the flush mounted fixture at the eating area. The existing breaker is a 20A, but the wire feeding the original fixture was 14-2, not 12-2. All of my new work is 12-2, but I want to know if I can feed all of the lights off of this circuit (again, I'm estimating my total load at 350-400W), and if it's safe to tie into this 14-2 circuit.

3) Last question...IF it is acceptable to feed the lighting off of this one circuit, is it acceptable to split off this circuit 3 ways in a junction box and then bring 3 individual lines (one for each switch) into my 3 gang box? My preference is to do this instead of a single line in where I need to pigtail the hot wires to each switch because I'm installing dimmers switches for 2 of them, and I'm concerned the box will be tight if I'm having to tie the neutrals together and pigtail the hots and the grounds.

Any feedback will be great.

Thanks.

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Old 09-16-2012, 06:01 AM   #2
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Lighting Circuit Questions


You can feed the lighting off one circuit, but you must replace the existing 20A breaker with a 15A breaker due to the existing 14-2.

You can do what you plan with the junction boxes as long as the boxes remain accessible. They cannot be simply be buried in the ceiling and drywalled over.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Lighting Circuit Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
You can feed the lighting off one circuit, but you must replace the existing 20A breaker with a 15A breaker due to the existing 14-2.

You can do what you plan with the junction boxes as long as the boxes remain accessible. They cannot be simply be buried in the ceiling and drywalled over.
Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Lighting Circuit Questions


You may want to verify that this circuit is not feeding other loads elsewhere in the house too that may already be approaching 15A.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PoleCat View Post
You may want to verify that this circuit is not feeding other loads elsewhere in the house too that may already be approaching 15A.
I took your advice, and I have some additional information.

1) The original circuit is 15A, NOT 20A as I originally stated. No excuse other than I made a mistake. I will still run everything in 12-2 though simply because I bought a few hundred feet of 12-2 for the other kitchen wiring.

2) I traced out the existing circuit fully. Here is what I have:

- 4 - 6" can lights (new) and I will use 65W equivalent LED's. They're estimated to draw only 15W EA, so total power consumption = 60W

- 2 - 3" recessed lights (new) with 50W lamps EA, so total power consumption = 100W

- 1 ceiling hung fixture/chandelier (TBD), but I'm assuming four (4) 60W lamps based on the size/type of fixture we're looking at, so total power consumption = 240W

- Powder Room vanity light (existing) = four (4) 50W lamps = 200W

- Powder Room exhaust fan (existing). I'm not sure what the actual power consumption is, but I'm assuming at 1.5A (estimated high), total power consumption = 180W. Note: There is a vanity outlet at the Powder Room, but it is on a different circuit.

- Foyer light (existing). It is rated for three (3) 60W lamps, and that is what is installed, so total power consumption = 180W.

- I did NOT originally include my outside lighting, but it does appear to be on this same circuit. They're on photocells, so I can't confirm until it gets dark, but it seems likely since they're switched from the same location as the foyer lights. There are two (2) exterior lights at the door. They are rated for one (1) 100W lamp EA, so total power consumption = 200W. There is also a pole mounted light, which again I'm assuming is on this same circuit, rated for 100W, so 300W total for the exterior lights.

- I come up with a total power consumption of 1260W, so still under the 1440W max BUT there are two (2) outlets on this circuit as well. They're not currently in use, but that doesn't mean they won't be in the future. What is a safe assumption to use here?

Any concerns/suggestions?

Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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Lighting Circuit Questions


The recessed need to be calculated at the maximum bulb size that can be used, not what is installed.

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