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Old 02-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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Recess lighting in series?


I'm hooking up a total of 5 recess lights in the ceiling that will be controlled by a 3-way switch. My question is do I wire the CANS so that they go from one can to the other in series so that the last CAN will have one wire coming out of it to the 3-way switch?

Or do I wire them in a 'star topology" way where each CAN will have one wire going to the 3-way switch.

I know it may sound silly but I have huge spool of Romex left over from someone so shortage will not be an issue. These are 12/2.

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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Recess lighting in series?


Daisy chain them as you stated in "option 1"

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Old 02-22-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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Recess lighting in series?


Is there a reason why daisy chaining is better than the other parallel method?

Just a random question...

Generally if you daisy chain, and you splice power from an existing outlet, is there any concern about any heat/current issues on the wire when you chain 30 100watt light bulbs to that one Outlet that's say already powering a tv and a home theater receiver?
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Recess lighting in series?


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Originally Posted by genner View Post
Is there a reason why daisy chaining is better than the other parallel method?

Just a random question...

Generally if you daisy chain, and you splice power from an existing outlet, is there any concern about any heat/current issues on the wire when you chain 30 100watt light bulbs to that one Outlet that's say already powering a tv and a home theater receiver?
YES, This is a problem. Don't do it, the breaker will trip.

You can't even put those lights on one circuit or controal them with 1 standard switch.

You need to break it up onto 2 new circuits and have 2 switches, 1 for each bank of lights.

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Old 02-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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Recess lighting in series?


30 100 watt lights are not allowed on 1 circuit (residential) as far as I know
You are limited to Max Capacity of the circuit/divided by Max bulb allowed in the fixture

15a circuit = 1800 watts = 18 100w lights
20a circuit = 2400 watts = 24 100w lights

I never daisy chain lights off an outlet
Running wire from one to the next usually saves on wire
On my 2nd floor I ran from 1st to 2nd
3rd can ran back to the 1st can as that was the shortest route
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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Recess lighting in series?


Quote:
Originally Posted by genner View Post
Is there a reason why daisy chaining is better than the other parallel method?

Just a random question...

Generally if you daisy chain, and you splice power from an existing outlet, is there any concern about any heat/current issues on the wire when you chain 30 100watt light bulbs to that one Outlet that's say already powering a tv and a home theater receiver?
How exactly where you planning on splicing that many wires in the first place, let alone in a switch box? Making a good connection with 4 or more 12 gage wires is difficult even with pratice.

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Old 02-22-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Recess lighting in series?


OH i'm not actually going to wire 30 lights. It was just a random question to see whether or not current/heat on the wire will be of issue by drawing that much current.


I'm actually wiring 4 recess lights and I wasn't sure to wire them in daisy chain method or have each one wired directly to a j-box then wirenut them together with one lead out to a switch.

Actually I mean to say like a star topology rather than parallel.

So basically each of the 4 lights will have a point to point connection to the light switch.
Is that bad practice?
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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Recess lighting in series?


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OH i'm not actually going to wire 30 lights. It was just a random question to see whether or not current/heat on the wire will be of issue by drawing that much current.


I'm actually wiring 4 recess lights and I wasn't sure to wire them in daisy chain method or have each one wired directly to a j-box then wirenut them together with one lead out to a switch.

Actually I mean to say like a star topology rather than parallel.

So basically each of the 4 lights will have a point to point connection to the light switch.
Is that bad practice?
Well kind of. If you can reasonably connect device to device, then you should. Sometimes in existing homes you just can do it, either becuase it's much easier just to get the wires back to one junction box or because the working space only allows a limited size junction box that won't give you room for any connections in it. For example; re-wiring a basement room that only has 1"or1.5" deep outlet boxes, up against a concrete wall. Without major demolition your not getting a deeper box in, and fishing 1 wire down a finished wall to that box is bad enough, you don't want to have to make 2 sets of connections to an outlet in that size box (any the box isn't large enough for it to be legal anyway in many situations like that) so the only real option is to run them back to a central junction box, like one that is above a suspended ceiling.

Also like I said, unless you already have considerable pratice at making good solid connection with wire, making a good connection with 5 12 gage wires is not the first thing you want to try when learning how to wire.

With new lights you will have enough room to go device to device (light to light). Depending where you pick up power, it can look like:

Power to switch, wire to first light, wire to next light, wire to next light, etc.

or power to first light, wire back to switch, wire from first light to next light,

etc, additonal combinations are possiable.

Making a good connection in the light fixture with 2 - 12 gage wires plus the fixture wire requires enough care as it is, but isn't too hard with a good wirenut.

Jamie
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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Recess lighting in series?


Quote:
Originally Posted by genner View Post
I'm actually wiring 4 recess lights and I wasn't sure to wire them in daisy chain method or have each one wired directly to a j-box then wirenut them together with one lead out to a switch.

Actually I mean to say like a star topology rather than parallel.

So basically each of the 4 lights will have a point to point connection to the light switch.
Is that bad practice?
You usually run into box fill problems running all the wires back to one box. Unless you use a quad box with a single gang mudplate
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:49 PM   #10
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Recess lighting in series?


Please dont go back and edit your first post and delete information after a thread like this has active responses.

It took me a bit to figure out why in post 2 he was referencing "option 1" or why in post 3 there is mention of 30 100 watt bulbs.

Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Recess lighting in series?


Thanks Jamie for the reply. So from reading your 2 examples, it seems that wiring in daisy chain/series is the best way to go. I shall do it that way!

AndrewF: I didn't edit my posts. I think wirenut1110 just mentioned option 1 in "quotes" And the mention of 30 100Watt bulbs just started in Post #3. It was just a random question.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:17 AM   #12
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Recess lighting in series?


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Thanks Jamie for the reply. So from reading your 2 examples, it seems that wiring in daisy chain/series is the best way to go. I shall do it that way!

AndrewF: I didn't edit my posts. I think wirenut1110 just mentioned option 1 in "quotes" And the mention of 30 100Watt bulbs just started in Post #3. It was just a random question.
Your question about heat issues, heat is generated by bad connections. If you make good connections, you won't have a problem with heat being generated by the point of connection. It is best to make connections by twisting wires together with a good pliers (go buy a Klien at lowes they are on sale less than $20, look for the value back with a stripper and screw driver).

Let me know if you need more details on making the connections or you want me to take some photos for you.

Jamie
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:55 AM   #13
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Recess lighting in series?


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Originally Posted by genner View Post
My question is do I wire the CANS so that they go from one can to the other in series so that the last CAN will have one wire coming out of it to the 3-way switch?
This is what I meant by option 1, I just changed "in series" to daisy chain.

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