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Old 02-25-2008, 06:17 AM   #1
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wiring recessed lights question.


Hi, I am planning on doing a recessed light install in my home, I am doing 5 lights off of a dedicated 15 amp circuit. I have a basic understanding of wiring ,but there is a few questions i would like to get opinions on. My first question would be 3 of the 5 lights will be controlled by 2, 3-way switches, What is the best way to wire this? Is series wiring the best option? I have access to my attic, should I go with a renovation fixture or a new construction? And last but not least, I plan on adding a new switch for one of the 5 lights which I will have to fish through a non load bearing wall, what's the best way to tackle this? Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-25-2008, 07:47 AM   #2
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wiring recessed lights question.


Here is something for starters:

For the three lights on the three way switch setup:

Powerfeed----S1====S2----L1----L2----L3

Between S1 and S2 (3 way switches) use 14-3 cable (double dashed lines shown). The other cabling is 14-2 (dashed lines shown).

Connect white wires to white wires throughout as neutrals. This arrangement does not require the use and remarking of a white wire as hot.

Connect the red and black wires of the 14-3 cable to the light colored switch terminals at each switch.

Connect the rest of the wires (all black) together, and using the dark terminals of the switches.

Power feed at S1 may be continued via another 14-2 cable to the switch for another light. In the arramgement above, power feed cannot be extracted from any of the other locations.

If any other lights will be on 3 way switches, I suggest running the 14-3 cable between the respective switch locations right away. You can also run another 14-3 out of the location of S1 if a 3-way switch for a different light shares that box. At least with attic access, you can drill straight down into the middle of the wall to run cables down to switches. Unfortunately I am not a fishing expert although I have done it with crude mixed results. Including such things as notching into a firestop (horizontal 2x4 section halfway up a wall) and having to put a metal plate over the wire at the wood because it is subject to nail damage otherwise. No metal plate is needed all along the route of the wire loose within the wall. Some folks recommend a high grade 3/4 inch drill bit since I ruined many spade bits hitting nails in the wood I had to drill cable channels through. Also I ended up cutting 4x4 holes here and there in walls and ceilings to get vantage points to pull wire through.


Last edited by AllanJ; 02-25-2008 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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wiring recessed lights question.


Thanks Allan! It went very successfully except for screwing up and wiring the new switch into the old. All thats left now is to fish a new wire down into the pre-existing box so I can fix the issue with the new switch.
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