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fdasilva 05-30-2011 11:41 AM

multiple light switches on existing basement Wiring
 
I am in the process of finishing the basement and at the moment have 5 basement lights operated by one light switch powered by one power supply (new construction). How do you you add more light switches to the existing wiring?

AllanJ 05-30-2011 07:08 PM

You must string additional wires from the added switches to the respective lights.

Where does the power feed go to start things off?

Jim Port 05-30-2011 08:01 PM

Might I suggest you pick up "Wiring Simplified" so you can get some basic ideas of circuits and wiring.

fdasilva 05-31-2011 08:31 AM

Jim,
I've already installed all the plugs but am a bit confuded about wiring existing lighting. Currently the power goes into one light and the other lights are ganged from this one light and all lights are controlled by one light switch. Is it as simple as adding additional swiches to the lights you want controlled, or do you need separate power sources for each sets of lights (connected by a light switch).

I don't want to rewire but will If required, as I know how to wire with distinct power sources.

fdasilva 05-31-2011 09:56 AM

Allan,
There is currently one power source for all the lights.


Frank

Jim Port 05-31-2011 09:58 AM

If one switch controls all the lights you will need to go back to a constant power source and run a new cable from there to the new switch. From the new switch you would run new cable to the fixture and disconnect or abandon the old wiring.

fdasilva 05-31-2011 10:02 AM

Thanks Jim.

I had a feeling a new power source was needed for each string of lights so thanks for the confirmation.

Frank

Jim Port 05-31-2011 10:16 AM

Without a new source of power the original switch would over-ride the new switches.

AllanJ 05-31-2011 10:30 AM

Power comes into one light fixture and also cable to switch goes down from there.

Run a 3 conductor cable (14-3 if circuit is 15 amps) from each light fixture (except the first) to the desired switch location.

At each fixture (except the first) disconnect its black wire from the black power wire(s) coming through and connect it to the new black wire down to its switch.

Connect the new red wire to the black power wires passing through.

Connect the new white wire to the bundle of white wires (including that of the fixure).

At the fixture where the power comes in remove the black wire continuing on to the other fixtures from where it was and connect it to the incoming power wire. Whatever else was connected to the incoming power wire stays.

At each new switch box connect the red and black wires to the switch. Put a small wire nut or some tape over the white wire end which remains uncut and unconnected* for now.

*2011 code requires that the neutral go down to the switch box just in case someone wants to extend power from there later.


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