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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post. My apologies if I carry on for no reason.
In our new home of three years (home built 1978) the previous owner installed 35 recessed flood lights in the basement (drywall ceiling), made up of a living area, playroom, bedroom and bathroom. All rooms have the same type of lighting, 5 inch housing with flood lights, most likely installed in the early 90's.
The living area has 15 flood lights, and I am interested in removing 5 that reside in one of the bulkheads as they are totally unnecessary. The remaining 10 lights provide ample light. Once the 5 are removed, I will retrofit all remaining lights to LED kits.
The 5 lights I'd like to remove are all on one switch. There are two other switches that control the remaining 10 lights. All 15 lights (including the 3 switches) are on the same circuit.
My question is; if I remove the switch and cover the wires with grommets and electrical tape, close off the switch, and drywall the 5 remaining holes in the bulkhead, essentially leaving the live wire inside the ceiling, are there any safety concerns? Is there a better way of completing this task?
:vs_worry:

Thank you!
Buddy
 

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Leaving a live wire in a wall or concealed junction box is wrong and potentially dangerous.

The good news is you may not need to do that. If the hot, neutral and ground are in the switch box, simply disconnect all 3 and everything after the switch is dead wire. Completely removing the outgoing wire from the switch box insures that no one will ever make it live again.

I'm not sure what code says about dead wires in a wall but I'm fairly sure there are a lot of them floating around the country.

You may not like the lights but the next person may. Could you just remove the switch, cap the wires and install a blank cover?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the valuable information.
Your suggestion about removing the switch, capping the wires from this switch and installing a blank cover is what I wanted to do all along. I would then remove the 5 flood lights and close those holes as well.
But doing it this way, don't I still have a live wire in the ceiling? Essentially all I did was removed a switch.
 

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If you don't make a joint in the switch box there will be nothing live in the ceiling. You could go even further and find out here that switch is fed from and disconnect that and than you can cover up the old switch as well.
 

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Thank you for the valuable information.
Your suggestion about removing the switch, capping the wires from this switch and installing a blank cover is what I wanted to do all along. I would then remove the 5 flood lights and close those holes as well.
But doing it this way, don't I still have a live wire in the ceiling? Essentially all I did was removed a switch.
I want you to fully understand what I posted.

I said if a 3 wire cable comes into the box and then runs to the first light, you can do it that way.

But it is possible that someone who did not know better ran the 3 wire cable to the first light, ran a switch loop to the box and wired the other 4 lights off of that return loop. Should that be the case than you would wind up with a hot wire in the wall.

How yours is wired is easy to determine with a little knowledge and the proper tester.
 
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What you just leave the lights you don't want to use in place? Since they are on a separate switch you don't have to use them in a give you some flexibility in the future if you change the room around or sell the house. You're doing an awful lot of work to accomplish nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've attached some photos. I want to remove the middle switch that controls 5 lights. The basement is going thru a small reno.
There is s short black wire connecting the middle switch with the one on the right. The same holds true for the switch on the left.
My only concern is the red wire going to the middle switch, which is the one I am removing.
 

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I think this is already suggested. The recess light cans, I think, have blank covers that fits into the trim. You will see the trim and the cover, but it will look finished. At the switch, remove the switch and cap the unused wire, clean up the pig tails. There is split covers that can be assembled. You can assemble a switch-blank-switch cover.
 
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