track lighting

Old 11-22-03, 10:20 AM
Jon Hayward
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
track lighting

I do remodeling and maintenance work on several art galleries and am finding an alarming problem and need advice. Owners, on their own have installed track lighting with no regard for amp loads, watts used, etc. As a result they load up track with too many lights causing burned connections that cause outages, fortunately, before more damage can be done. I have found tops 13 amp draw from a 20 amp circuit, well within safe, so need to know what track manufacturers recommend - How many watts on an 8' track? how many lengths of track on a 20A circuit? How many watts on a 20A circuit? Can anyone help? Manufacturers won't help unless I buy products.
Old 11-22-03, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You are restricted to using 80% of a circuit when the load is expected to continue for 3 hours or more. Lighting in a residential setting is not normally considered to meet this, but I would have to think that most inspectors would judge that the lighting in a gallery would. So that would limit you to 1920 watts on a 20-amp circuit.

Figuring how many bulbs you can then have on a 20-amp circuit is then simply a matter of dividing 1920 by the wattage of each bulb.
Old 11-22-03, 10:53 AM
Jon Hayward
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Reply to John Nelson

Thanks for the reply John, but I don't think you understood my question. These gallery owners are using well under the 80% capacity (I am aware of these codes and limits on circuits). The max I have found is a 13 amp draw on these burned circuits, which means they are using only 1200 watts.
The problem is the track connections are such a weak contact, that the watts versus amp formula doesn't apply. The manufacturers must be aware of this and surely have recommendadtions on max wattage on X length of track, max footage of track on a circuit, etc.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: