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# Two lights, one source: serial or parallel?

## Two lights, one source: serial or parallel?

#1
07-16-04, 06:30 AM
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Two lights, one source: serial or parallel?

I need to connect two pendant lights to one source coming out of the ceiling.
What is the right way to wire this? Do I connect the pendants in parallel or serial connection to the source?

Thanks.

#2
07-16-04, 07:12 AM
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Parallel. Blacks to black and whites to white.

#3
07-16-04, 07:26 AM
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You can wire the lights themselves in serial or in parallel, whichever is easier, it makes no difference. By this I mean you can run your cable in serial or in parallel.

However, each light is electrically in parallel. Each light needs 120 volts across it, regardless of how you run the cable.

#4
07-16-04, 07:28 AM
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A very common mistake when wiring lighting fixtures is to screw up a switch loop. If there is just one wire of each color in the ceiling, it's hard to screw up. But if there are more than one wire of each color in the ceiling, it's best to pay attention and figure out why there are more than one wire of each color.

#5
07-16-04, 07:39 AM
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Thanks!

There are just 2 wires coming out of ceiling, but I still could have screwed it up by connecting the lights in series. It has been some time since my last physics class.

racrafs, your answer confused me. What do you mean by parallel cable-running vs. electrically parallel?

#6
07-16-04, 07:50 AM
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Thank you for proving my point and agreeing that the terms are confusing.

With one cable from the ceiling you have no choice. This cable goes to the first light. It then goes to the second light. This cable runs serially. However, the lights themselves are wired in parallel.

If you had three lights then you would have a choice. You could run a cable from the first light to the second light. Then you could run a cable from the second light to the third light. This would be serially.

However, you could also run a cable from the first light to the second light and a cable from the first light to the third light. This would have the second and third lights in parallel with respect to the cable. of course they are wired electrically in parallel regardless of how the cable runs.

#7
07-16-04, 08:55 AM
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I was definitely referring to electrical layout, since the cabling makes no electrical difference.