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tj home 10-13-2006 01:26 PM

recessed lighting WIRING
i am preparing to install several recessed lights in the ceiling of a small room with attack access to the other side of the ceiling. installing the actual lights will not be a problem
i know there is the factor of overloading a cercuit, i just don't know how to wire the lights and the dimmer switch i wish to install as well.

KUIPORNG 10-13-2006 02:33 PM

There are two ways wire it:

1st way, input power line wire at the switch location

2nd way, input power line wire at the light location

1st way is easier to understand... but depends on where you "steal" the power, you should choose location accordingly... I am sure you go to HD and browse their book you saw the connecting method of these two...

tj home 10-14-2006 12:26 PM

were do i go to look at connecting methods??

dougrus 10-14-2006 12:32 PM

Before you proceed...
How many lights are installing? You need to make sure if you "tap" off another cucuit that it can handle the extra load.

KUIPORNG 10-16-2006 08:25 AM

each recessed lights is about 75W depends on the pot you bought... like above said the maximum load shouldn't exceeded the breaker value... to determine that, you need to map all devices to all breakers to be 100% sure with the help of walkie talkie and two people running around the house...

the book shows the two circuits is selling at HD which means Home Depot... which I have bought one myself...

J187 10-16-2006 10:52 AM

Also very important here is to make sure you dont' exceed the rating on the dimmer switch. THe switch you buy will have a wattage rating. Don't go passed 80% of it. SO, if you buy a 600w dimmer, then the most you will be able to install is 6 75w lights. IF you want more than 6, you'll need to bump up to a 1000 watt dimmer. I personally would go for the 1K watt even at 6x75. The 1k dimmer will cost you twice what the 600 would. Also, make sure that when you buy the recessed lights, you pay attention to whether or not you are contacting any insulation. IF so, you'll have to buy IC Contact cans.

tj home 10-17-2006 03:55 PM

thaks for the help. i need to know where i should look in the attick for a source to tap into. how do i tap into this source, and what should the wires between the unit and the source and the light or source and the switch, look like.

Speedy Petey 10-17-2006 05:10 PM

You are basically asking how to do this whole job, in detail. If you do not already have some experience in doing small electrical projects I would consider hiring this job out. Several recessed lights on a new dimmer are not exactly a first time job for a DIY'er.
Also, we cannot see your attic. We do not know what boxes and circuits you have and what the loads are on these existing circuits. You need to have a clue what you are looking at to tell if you can use an existing circuit.

If you are set on doing this yourself I would do as suggested and get at least two good books on home wiring. You need the basics down before you start. THIS IS NOT a learn as you go project.

mdshunk 10-17-2006 06:14 PM

If those recessed cans you propose to use say "Emerald" or "Commercial Electric" on the box, take them back. I'm serious about that. They are the biggest pieces of junk known to mankind, and they frustrate even a good electrician. Get a good brand like Juno, Progress, Lightolier, etc, and you'll have a much smoother install.

747 10-18-2006 03:37 AM

MD which do you prefer in recessed lighting. 3in. or 4in or 5in or 6in. Also do you like monorail lighting.

J187 10-18-2006 12:54 PM

For me, the size of the recessed fixture would be spefiic to the application. I don't like 4" better than 6" per se, but there are places I would put the 4 that I think the 6 might not go well.

My opinion on monorail is that its a pretty cool concept and a nice design. Its nice looking as well, but.... I think that you really have to have a specific need for it in order for it to work. LIke, a need for accent lighting in a certain area where you might wanna make a bend or accomodat a corner. Either that or it would go nicely in a fancy or abstract room but only as either accent or an object light. Like, for instance to light a piece of artwork or something..

747 10-18-2006 08:51 PM

I was thinking kable lighting. I have a small study and i seen these really cool things you can hang off of it. They have a couple airplanes that light up and a parachute guy that lights up. Which that isn't monorail but its similar in a way. But he airplanes are like 240 a piece and the parachute guy is like around the same price. The kable doesn't look cheap either. I think around 549.00 plus hiring a electric guy to make it work.

mdshunk 10-18-2006 11:05 PM


Originally Posted by 747 (Post 21145)
MD which do you prefer in recessed lighting. 3in. or 4in or 5in or 6in. .

I could care less what the size is. That's a personal decision. Selecting a good brand is most important.


Originally Posted by 747 (Post 21145)
Also do you like monorail lighting.

I've installed so little rail and cable, that I have to 're-learn' how it goes together every time. It's pretty cool looking stuff when it's all done. Just takes a little fussing and farting every time to get it from boxes to a finished job on the ceiling.

tj home 10-19-2006 02:16 PM

im not asking for a whole job instruction. im asking what is inside a basic power cable. i have experience with wiring i can understand a simple explanation. i need to know what is wraped in an electrical cable so i know how to split and splice it. also this will help me tap into boxes and ends where other fixtures are taken out. i assum there are three wires wrapped, a pos a neg and a ground. also i know it is part of an AC currents.

KUIPORNG 10-19-2006 02:47 PM

to find a source, you cannot tell by looking at it, you need to purchase a live wire tester. hot wire (black) exists at switch for sure, but neutral wire(white) not necessary exists in switch, it might or might not... you need to locate a place which you can steal both hot and neutral wire and make sure you don't mix them up ... hot wire always go through the switch, not the neutral one... but stealing power is only part of the game, calculating the load is another part, you cannot assume the circuit you stole the power have enough capacity for you to add load... although it is likely for one or two 75W pot lights... but you still need to prove it before doing it... for that you need a load map for the circuit you are about to steal power from... good luck... it is not that difficult and easier than it sounds...

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