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Old 03-15-2009, 09:59 PM   #1
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


......First our (1898) house's present wiring is a hodge podge of K&T and various others. Max of two outlets per room.
......We want to rewire. We had a new circuit panel put in, by an electrician. This after we rewired the bathroom, on it's own circuit, during a complete gutting and remodel of said bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair. We ran all wiring for the bathroom down through the wall and along the top of the cellar wall to the panel. The electrician hooked it to the new panel at that time. Then we moved in.
......We want to do that to each of the other rooms in their turn. Is this feasible for each room? Or do the ceiling lights HAVE to be on a separate circuit?
......In our old rental, all ceiling lights were on one circuit, but we figured it would be safer if each ROOM had it's own circuit. (The kitchen, of course will have more).
.......Anyone have an opinion or suggestion?

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


It is not required to have separate circuits, and in this case may be easier for you to put each room on it's own circuit.
Depending on your location and code cycle you are on, the bedroom circuits need to be afci protected.

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Thank you very much.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:37 PM   #4
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Given the choice, I generally don't have receptacles and lights on the same circuit, especially in the same room. The reason being; if you overload the receptacles, and the breaker trips, the lights will go out too.

If you did each room on its own circuit, there'd likely be enough light from adjacent rooms to see well enough for a safe exit. This plan would be OK, but not my preference.

Rob
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Bob,

...Yours is an absolutely excellent point. I think of places we have lived where that would have been a major improvement.

...Since we are still in the planning stage, we will take that into consideration. We hope to finish our very roomy attic in the future and could easily run a separate circuit for the ceilings lights of our 6 downstairs rooms, while the attic floor joists are open. (Does that make sense?)

... But as to your second point, this is our long awaited 'much smaller home' and every room is relatively small and open to the others. Each room definitely illuminates the next.

...Thank you so much for your input. I am going to love this site. With this 'fixer upper' we will need it. New discoveries every day.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


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Originally Posted by micromind View Post
Given the choice, I generally don't have receptacles and lights on the same circuit, especially in the same room. The reason being; if you overload the receptacles, and the breaker trips, the lights will go out too.

If you did each room on its own circuit, there'd likely be enough light from adjacent rooms to see well enough for a safe exit. This plan would be OK, but not my preference.

Rob
My preference also is to have lights on a seperate circuit
We have ceiling fans in almost every room
With CFL's I have 2 lighting circuits for the house
Some additional lights are still linked into old outlet circuits
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #7
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


I would put the lights on their own circuit IF you have good space. In any new install or rewire, I would recommend it.

Could even make the option to operate some lighting with a generator and transfer switch, but lets not make this complex.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


My preference is lighting for 1 or 2 rooms on their own 15a / 14gauge wired circuit; outlets seperate on 20a/12g circuits for the reasons mentioned-- if the receptacle outlet is overloaded, the breaker that pops won't leave you in the dark! Back in the day, panels had 4-6 fuses covering the whole house! Now many have 30-42 breakers for a house. Much more control available.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:25 PM   #9
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


I was thinking in terms of running all the ceiling lights in one line.

Like this: (main panel)--------0---------0---------0--------0------0------0

Should I have each room's light on a separate run all the way to the main panel in the basement? OR each one to a junction box , then to the main panel?

Or would it be better to put a sub-panel up there, in anticipation of the future remodel? OR my original thought but to a sub-panel?

I was also thinking of variable speed/reversible fans in a couple of rooms, as the ceilings are 9'4".

You guys are being very helpful. I start with what is (to me) a simple question, and you all do what you should and speak of the things I hadn't thought of. So much better to discover and work out these things in the planning stage, than to find these issues when I'm in the middle of the project. Been there more than I like to admit, and probably will again, I'm sure. Took me many years to admit that I can (and always do) learn from others experiences. Thank you!
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


I just wire, try not to think to much.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


I just thought about the darn switches. Guess I need to get my wiring books out and give this more thought, huh? Good thing I'm not in a BIG hurry!
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:35 PM   #12
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Chris 75,
Yeah me too, usually. But that's what always gets me in trouble!
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:46 PM   #13
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by handyoldgal View Post
I was thinking in terms of running all the ceiling lights in one line.

Like this: (main panel)--------0---------0---------0--------0------0------0

Should I have each room's light on a separate run all the way to the main panel in the basement? OR each one to a junction box , then to the main panel?

Or would it be better to put a sub-panel up there, in anticipation of the future remodel? OR my original thought but to a sub-panel?

I was also thinking of variable speed/reversible fans in a couple of rooms, as the ceilings are 9'4".

You guys are being very helpful. I start with what is (to me) a simple question, and you all do what you should and speak of the things I hadn't thought of. So much better to discover and work out these things in the planning stage, than to find these issues when I'm in the middle of the project. Been there more than I like to admit, and probably will again, I'm sure. Took me many years to admit that I can (and always do) learn from others experiences. Thank you!
i know you are looking to save money, and i dont blame you...but if you have to ask this question, maybe you should call an electrician
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:52 PM   #14
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Gee, that was plan B!
Yeah, money is a consideration, but not everything.

I just thought I'd try to work out what I want, or need, first. Am really in the first stages here. Then if I don't think I can do it, I won't! Or at least I won't do it alone. I'm a true believer in getting it inspected before connecting.

My skills are more in the line of design.

I'm fairly new at the electrical stuff, although I did refit & rewire the bathroom and had my plan approved and then inspected before having an electrician hook my wiring to the panel. He seemed to think I was capable enough. He knows I won’t go ahead with anything without him checking it and doing the final hook ups. I just don’t want to take up his time with my sometimes ‘random’ thinking on the subject.

I’m sorry if you think I shouldn’t be doing anything like this if I need to bounce some ideas off someone else, or ask questions. I kind of thought that was the point of the site. It would be dangerous for me to think that I know it all, wouldn’t it? I didn’t think it was good to wait until I screw up and then write to find out how to fix it. Trying to be responsible here.

Last edited by handyoldgal; 03-16-2009 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #15
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Should Ceiling lights be on separate circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by handyoldgal View Post
Gee, that was plan B!
Yeah, money is a consideration, but not everything.

I just thought I'd try to work out what I want, or need, first. Am really in the first stages here. Then if I don't think I can do it, I won't! Or at least I won't do it alone. I'm a true believer in getting it inspected before connecting.

My skills are more in the line of design.

I'm fairly new at the electrical stuff, although I did refit & rewire the bathroom and had my plan approved and then inspected before having an electrician hook my wiring to the panel. He seemed to think I was capable enough. He knows I wonít go ahead with anything without him checking it and doing the final hook ups. I just donít want to take up his time with my sometimes Ďrandomí thinking on the subject.

Iím sorry if you think I shouldnít be doing anything like this if I need to bounce some ideas off someone else, or ask questions. I kind of thought that was the point of the site. It would be dangerous for me to think that I know it all, wouldnít it? I didnít think it was good to wait until I screw up and then write to find out how to fix it. Trying to be responsible here.
Hey, you get it inspected. Thats a very crucial step. If you have done wiring and passed, you are capable of electrical work.

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