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Old 06-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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wiring question for bedroom lights


currently my 4 bedrooms do not have ceiling lights, just lamps that plug into the wall but i want to add the ceiling lights. i want to run new wiring from the box so i know they will all be grounded. can i run 4 lights off one junction box from the attic? i would run the line up from the basement to the attic and run 4 off junction box to light and switch. is that a possibilty and up to code? if not how would i do it? thanks

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Old 06-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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wiring question for bedroom lights


That would be fine.

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Old 06-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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wiring question for bedroom lights


Four new lights on a new circuit is certainly well within the capacity of even a 15 amp circuit. Adding an accessible junction box and branching off would be allowed. Depending on the layout a junction might not be needed. You could run from the switch box to the lights and then light to light.

How you get the cable to the attic depends on how your house was built and the layout. sometimes you can fish a cable next to a plumbing line.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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wiring question for bedroom lights


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Four new lights on a new circuit is certainly well within the capacity of even a 15 amp circuit. Adding an accessible junction box and branching off would be allowed. Depending on the layout a junction might not be needed. You could run from the switch box to the lights and then light to light.

How you get the cable to the attic depends on how your house was built and the layout. sometimes you can fish a cable next to a plumbing line.
do you know of a site that i can see a pic of how to wire it all since i would want each light to work with the switch in each individual room?
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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wiring question for bedroom lights


If you want 4 lights, all in different rooms, controlled by 4 different switches, you would need to come off the switch (assuming there is a neutral at the switch) or the outlet that is controlled by the switch. The wiring between the switch and the switched receptacles will be running thru the walls 99% of the time and you won't be able to splice into the switch leg from the basement.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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If you want 4 lights, all in different rooms, controlled by 4 different switches, you would need to come off the switch (assuming there is a neutral at the switch) or the outlet that is controlled by the switch. The wiring between the switch and the switched receptacles will be running thru the walls 99% of the time and you won't be able to splice into the switch leg from the basement.
is there a way to test the outlets to make sure they actually are grounded and that they didnt just use a green wire to the box?
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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A green wire to the metal box is a proper ground most of the time. You can buy a cheap plug in outlet tester and test to see that the outlets are wired correctly.

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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A green wire to the metal box is a proper ground most of the time. You can buy a cheap plug in outlet tester and test to see that the outlets are wired correctly.


ya i have seen those before. i just thought just because there is a green wire to a metal box doesnt mean that the box is actually grounded though.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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wiring question for bedroom lights


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do you know of a site that i can see a pic of how to wire it all since i would want each light to work with the switch in each individual room?
Since you're running your feed up to the attic, this seems like a good situation to use "switch legs". Each ceiling box is fed power--either 4 romex cables from a junction box, or jump from one to the other as Jim Port suggested--then from each ceiling box you drop a single romex cable to the switch box for that room to switch the hot lead for the light.

BTW, if you think you will ever want ceiling fans, install the proper metal boxes now, and run 14/3 (assuming you are doing 15A) from ceiling box to each switch box. Even if you don't use the extra conductor now, it's nice to have).
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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wiring question for bedroom lights


If it were me, this is what I'd do--



The top, wider, rectangles represent ceiling boxes. The bottom taller rectangles represent the switch boxes. In my drawing, wherever the same color lines meet, it's assumed they are joined with a wire-nut.

It's also assumed that all bare ground wires are tied together in each location and to the respective device at that location.

Overall:
- Run your feed into the attic, directly to which ever ceiling box is convenient.

- Run additional romxex from that first ceiling box, to the next ceiling box, and so on until the 4th box

- From each ceiling box, drop a 14/3 (assuming 15A circuit) to the switch box

In the ceiling boxes:
- Incoming (from feed or last ceiling box) and outgoing (to next ceiling box) romexes get their blacks tied together and their whites tied together

- Switch leg romex is three conductors--Red, Black and White.
--> Black -- tie it in with the black incoming/outgoing from above
--> Red -- this will control your fan, if you ever have one
--> White -- Mark it with black tape, this will go to the black lead of your light (or to the "light" wire of a ceiling fan/light combo)

- So at the light/fan itself, you'd connect the "white" to the white incoming/outgoing from above. The "black" on your light would go to the white+black tape from your switch box. If you have a fan, you'd connect the red from the switch box to that.


In the Switch Boxes:
In the switch boxes you have three conductors--Red, Black and White.
--> Black -- "pig tail" this so you have two conductors, one to each switch
--> Red -- Connect to one of the switches
--> White -- Mark with black tape, connect to the other switch


Hopefully I didn't completely confuse you with the whole ceiling fan thing, but honestly if you think there is ever a chance you might want one, this is the time to do it. If you decided NOT to do the ceiling fan wiring, then you'd just use 14/2 to the switch boxes and not have a red conductor at all (or if you decided to run the 14/3, you can just leave the red conductor not connected in either the switch or ceiling boxes).

I'm reasonably sure I got this right, but if not, someone who knows what they're talking about will smack me down within a short time
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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wiring question for bedroom lights


Bubbler,

I like your plan. another consideration is the new NEC 2011 requirement to have neutrals at switches. even if not yet subject to the new code, its a good idea

options -

run 14-4 (14-2-2) cable to allow for the neutral, ground and hots for
the light and fan

run 14-3 and accept the fact that you wont have the ability to control both rhe fan and light separately and have a neutral available [this is probably a gray area if NEC 2011 applies but is definitely allowed if not yet under NEC 2011]

personally id buy 50' of 14-4 and totally future proof the install

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