Large lighting circuit


  #1  
Old 04-27-05, 03:07 AM
JJJ623
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Large lighting circuit

My basement lighting is currently controlled by a pair of 3-way switches which controll all the ceiling lights (6) in the basement. I like that... I'm refinishing my basement, and plan to increase to about 33 lights (60W). Some of these lights will turn on/off with the 3-way switch and others (separate rooms) will be controlled by one of 5 individual switches.

My desire is that all the lights will still be turned off when I switch off the 3-way switch (at the top of the basement stairs and at the exit). This way, I won't have to worry whether someone left lights on in one of the rooms...

To do this, I assume that the 'sometimes hot' (there's got to be a better name) leg of the 3-way circuit would be used as input to each switched circuit (5 of them).

Is this possible, and are there any special considerations? My quick math says that 33 bulbs at 60W gets me into the 17 amp range (no outlets on the same breaker). So could I hook this all up to a 30A breaker and let it rip? Is a heavier gage wire required for a 30A circuit? Any advice would be helpful...

Thanks,

Jeff
 
  #2  
Old 04-27-05, 03:21 AM
pgtek's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
Posts: 1,348
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
hi
1. for 30 amp circiut you need size 10 wire thats a no no
2. 33 lights the max you can have on a 15 amp cirtcuit for lights only is 12
so you need to have 3 15 amps circiut for the lights and that with no outlet connected to the lights
if you mix lights with outlet the max is 8 that means 4 15 amp circuits
Is your basement a bowling alley ??????????
Check with a lighting center what are your option

good luck

pg
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-05, 03:44 AM
JJJ623
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Large Lighting circuit

No, not a bowling alley (I wish), but it's about 1100 square feet. Lots of recessed lights (I'll put them on dimmers) and task lights (pool table, air hockey, closets, stairway, dart board, workshop, etc.) May be a few too many, but i'm trying to eliminate the basement dungon feeling.

OK, so let's call it four 15 amp circuits, four separate breakers. Is there a practical way for one of the circuits (the one with the 3-way switch at the top of the stairs) to control power to the other three circuits. Some kind of relay situation that breaks power to the other 3? Other options?

Thanks for the feedback.

Jeff
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-05, 03:51 AM
pgtek's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
Posts: 1,348
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
i i would put 2 ligths on a 3 way: the top and bottom of stair
and it the bottom of the stair have a gang box that light the room in 3 section

1. for game section
2. perameter around the room and one for the rest of the section.
better to have a plan made up first how your doing to connected them
pg
 
  #5  
Old 04-27-05, 03:59 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 475
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
First, you cannot put in a 30A general lighting circuit.

Originally Posted by pgtek
2. 33 lights the max you can have on a 15 amp cirtcuit for lights only is 12
Where do you get this figure? Most recessed baffle/trim combinations that I have used are rated for 75W max, which would allow for 19 firxtures per 15A circuit even assuming 80% max load. Typically 65W bulbs are used which give even more headroom.

I would put the lights on two 20A circuits. If you want to be able to turn off all the basement lights, I would use X-10 controlled dimmers such as these:

http://www.smarthome.com/shddecora.html

You could switch off the basement lights from anywhere in the house.
 
  #6  
Old 04-27-05, 04:09 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 9,785
Upvotes: 0
Received 45 Upvotes on 43 Posts
A to-the-point answer: No, it is not possible to have one switch to control four circuits.

It's possible you could look into commerical lighting gear for relay options, but I bet it will be expensive and possibly only available for 277V. Perhaps some of the X-10, smarthome stuff would work for you. I personally don't like it as I've had several X-10 modules burn out in a matter of a few years. I just don't trust that stuff like good old fashioned mechanical switches.
 

Last edited by ibpooks; 04-27-05 at 04:12 AM. Reason: more info
  #7  
Old 04-27-05, 04:12 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SC
Posts: 156
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
What Mikewu99 said or if you want just get a lighting contactor to power up 2 circuits. You could also use 2 3 way switches at each of the 2 locations.
 
  #8  
Old 04-27-05, 04:31 AM
pgtek's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
Posts: 1,348
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
To MikeWU99

Originally Posted by pgtek
33 lights the max you can have on a 15 amp cirtcuit for lights only is 12
what i was trying to say he wants to install 33 lights
and on a 15 amp circuit the max is 12 lights only no outlet, why push to the limit
thats why i said 3 circuit of 15 amps would do.
pg
 
  #9  
Old 04-27-05, 04:43 AM
pgtek's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
Posts: 1,348
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Light bulbs are rated in watts; the higher the wattage, the brighter they are. In order to shine brighter, it has to draw more current (AMPS); the same is true in your house. A 60 WATT bulb draws AMP in a 120 Volt system. To find the current draw, P/E or 60/120 = .5 AMP. A 100 WATT bulb would draw almost 1 amp (100 / 120 = .83AMP). A baseboard heater of 1500 watts would draw 12.5AMPS (1500 / 120 12.5 AMPS). A toaster rated at 600 Watts draws about 5 AMPS. A kettle rated at 1500 WATTS draws 12.5 AMPS. The two together draw 17.5 AMPS. That is why the circuit breaker trips because it is rated usually at 15 AMPS.
 
  #10  
Old 04-27-05, 05:20 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,246
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
As long as you do not exceed the rating of the circuit you can have as many lights as you want on the circuit.

However, lighting can only be 15 or 20 amp circuit. Theoretically on a 20 amp circuit you could get 32 of those 75 watt bulbs. You could get 40 60 watt bulbs. However, those 60 watt bulbs could get swapped out for higher wattage and then you could get into trouble. I also do not recommend that you push the 20 amp maximum. I would break your lighting into at least two sections. You could, if you wanted to, have two three way circuits and accomplish what you are after.
 
  #11  
Old 04-27-05, 05:40 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 475
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I've had several of the Smarthome brand (SwitchLinc) X-10 dimmers in operation for about 4 years now with no failures. There are cheaper brands out there (like the actual X-10 brand) but I would stick to Smarthome or Leviton.
 
 

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