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Old 06-11-2009, 08:47 AM   #1
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Lighting/outlet/switch question


Ok, I bought some lights to put on top of my cabinets. The lights have normal plugs on them. I'm thinking about plugging them into a surge protector, installing a new outlet at the top of the cabinet and wiring a switch to it.

I just bought this house a month or so ago. While running network cable in the attic I noticed that the wiring goes like this:

Breaker box, outlet, outlet, outlet (as an example). Other wiring in homes i've seen goes from the breaker box to a junction box, then out to the outlets.

I guess I have 2 options and don't know which one to choose:

1.) Find the end of a circuit close by and run that to the switch then to the outlet.
2.) Start a new circuit at the breaker box (seems like overkill for 1 outlet).

Suggestions?

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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Lighting/outlet/switch question


Find a lighting circuit to pull from.
You can not use the kitchen receptacles to power the lights, or go with option #2

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Old 06-11-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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Lighting/outlet/switch question


If you're doing this in a kitchen, you should check out this thread, specifically Jim's post (#8) and the ensuing discussion about using small appliance counter-top circuits for lighting.

How do I fish the power cable without breaking backsplash

Instead of a surge protector, why not install a 2 gang (or 3 gang) box so you have enough receptacles for the lights? It just seems cleaner to me, and probably safer..

Quote:
Breaker box, outlet, outlet, outlet (as an example)
That's probably the most common way to wire outlets.. (Though my house uses jboxes mostly, which IMO is the better way to do it).

Quote:
1.) Find the end of a circuit close by and run that to the switch then to the outlet.
You don't need to find the end of the circuit; you can tap power off of most any outlet (except for certain kitchen outlets, per the other thread). You may even have power at the switch location already if you have another switch there. That would be the ideal situation -- are you going to locate the new switch with an existing one?

Otherwise since you have access to the attic, you can always tap into the existing lighting circuit. You may be able to do it from the jbox behind your current fixture(s), but if not, you can cut into the feed for your lighting, install a jbox, and connect your new lighting run from there.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Lighting/outlet/switch question


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Otherwise since you have access to the attic, you can always tap into the existing lighting circuit. You may be able to do it from the jbox behind your current fixture(s), but if not, you can cut into the feed for your lighting, install a jbox, and connect your new lighting run from there.
Thanks! That's a great idea. I already have enough switches in my kitchen, I really don't need this extra lighting on an entire separate switch.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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Lighting/outlet/switch question


Just from experience, I would strongly suggest running a new circuit for this lighting for two reasons.

One, because the new circuit will not be energized until you are through making all of your connections to any devices and there'll be less of a chance of you getting shocked.

Two, because "tapping into" existing circuits can sometimes lead to putting splices back together incorrectly or later on something else in the house mysteriously stopped working right around the same time you were performing electrical work.
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