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Old 06-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Hi. I have two fluorescent light fixtures in my kitchen. I want to remove the two lights and replace them with six recessed light fixtures (essentially replace each existing fixture with 3 new fixtures).
Can running this many lights off of an existing light be safely done?
Can anyone provide a diagram/guide or link for the correct wiring procedure?
Any help/advice is appreciated…

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Old 06-21-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Do you know what else is on the circuit?
Are the existing lights turned off & on by a switch?
Do you have access from above to run the wires?
Or will you be fishing them thru the ceiling?
It can be done, depends upon exisiting wiring

But basically you just run wire from one to the next

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Old 06-21-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Basically all the lighting on the middle level of my townhouse are on this same circuit.

There is one switch that that controls the two existing lights.

I will have to fish the wires through the ceiling but I don't see this as being a problem because the new lights will only be separated by a few feet.

Thanks for the quick response scuba_dave...
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Do you know if the power feed is to the light 1st or the switch?
This will determine wiring method
What colored wires at the lights?

You need to calculate the load on the circuit
If it is all lighting then you can exceed the breaker limit for all lights on that circuit
IE if a bulb fixture indicates 100w bulb Max that is what you use
If the recessed cans indicate 75w max then you are adding 6*75 = 450w to that circuit
15a circuit = 1800w Mac
20a circuit = 2400w Max
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Wire gauge on 15a circuit = 14 gauge, 20a = 12 gauge
Example of wiring

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Old 06-21-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


If the existing fluorescent fixtures are surface mounted, recessed lights can be installed using remodel cans which are installed from below. Please supply more info.

Besides Commercial we can help with DIY tips on Installing Recessed Lighting
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Circuit wiring direct to light
Switch only interupts the hot feed
White has been re "coded" as black

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Old 06-21-2009, 01:22 PM   #8
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


I don't know if the power is fed to the light or the switch first.

One of the fixtures has a white, black, & ground wire.
The other fixture has the same setup only times two; i.e. 2 black, 2 white, & 2 ground wires.

How do I know if I have a 15a or 20a circuit?

Also, the fluorescent lights are surface mounted.

Thanks again...appreciate the diagrams.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:29 PM   #9
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Just add up the wattage of the new fixtures. Watts divided by volts gives you the total current. Use the maximum allowed for the fixture for calculating. Let us know the total wattage. Yes, It's that simple.

Do not concern yourself with how the switches are wired, unless you want to change how the switches work. Connect the new fixtures just like the old fixtures. Just run the cable from the existing to the new.
Make a drawing so you can put it back like it is now. The connections.

Check the breaker that turns the lights on and off for circuit size.

I have no idea how switches got into this thread. The OP only asked if he could add lights to an existing circuit. Please, lets not confuse him. Stay on topic and just answer the damn question.

If he needs a new home run than we can address that after he tells us the total wattage. And what size breaker he has.

Last edited by J. V.; 06-21-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #10
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


The new fixtures are 50 watts max each. Total is 300 watts.

Right now the four current fluorescent bulbs are 40 watts each for a total of 160 watts. So I'd already be over by about 140 watts once the new fixtures are installed.

Thanks...

EDIT: It's a 15a circuit

Last edited by n00b; 06-21-2009 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


It will work on a 15 or 20 amp circuit with plenty room to spare. Just install the fixtures and connect them to the same wires the old ones are on. The total current draw is 2.5 amps. However, this is just for the lights. What else is on the same circuit?
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #12
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Switches matter because he needs to be aware of how things are wired. Many people take it apart & thenhave no clue how to put it back together. Its also important to know where the power is coming from

And if the circuit is already maxed out with the existing lights then even adding "only" another 140w is against code. It's that simple

One the points of DIY is learning & learning how to do it right

Don't be such a damn ass
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


I just added everything up. Currently there are 1060 watts on the circuit plus one outlet and one exhaust fan. The outlet has a 60 watt lamp hooked up to it and various entertainment media (i.e. tv, dvd player, cable box, ps3, wii). How many watts do the outlet and exhaust fan draw?

Like I said, adding the new lights will add an additional 140 watts to the circuit. Will I overload the circuit?

Also, it looks like one of the current fluorescent fixtures is in the middle of the circuit because two sheathed cables are entering the box. Howdoes this change my wiring scenario?

Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:58 PM   #14
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Switches matter because he needs to be aware of how things are wired. Many people take it apart & thenhave no clue how to put it back together. Its also important to know where the power is coming from

And if the circuit is already maxed out with the existing lights then even adding "only" another 140w is against code. It's that simple

One the points of DIY is learning & learning how to do it right

Don't be such a damn ass
Dave, I will not get into a pissing match with you. He does not need to be aware of how things are wired. He's not an electrician. Are you?
All he needs to know is if and how he can accomplish his project. If you want to get complicated try one of the professional boards where they will eat you alive. This is a DIY forum.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:10 PM   #15
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Wiring multiple lights off of an existing light??


I'm not an electrician & I do need to know how things are wired
I've seen too many people who are told to simply replace it/wire same as it is & then come back & say it isn't working
Then its 2x as hard to figure out what they did wrong

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