Wire selection for lighting project


Old 10-10-05, 07:51 PM
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Wire selection for lighting project

I am planning to install 7 recessed lights in my living room. I am planning to have switches at both ends of the room in a 3-way configuration with all of the lights in between. I will be using remodel cans since the room is on the first floor of a 2 story house.

In order to do this I believe I will need to run 4 wires between most of the cans (hot, neutral, 2 travelers). What type of wire should be used for this project? I have not seen any four conductor cable available, only 14-3 or 12-3.
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Old 10-10-05, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Then you have not looked hard enough. Try an electrical supply house. They make wire with four insulated conductors. it is often called 14-2-2, since it has two white wires (one is striped) and two hot wires.

Better yet, keep it simple and use 14-3 between the switches, and then 14-2 to the lights from the second switch.
Old 10-10-05, 08:00 PM
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It will be much easier for you to bring power to the first switch and then run a 3 conductor +ground cable to the second switch. From the second switch run a 2 conductor + ground cable to the first can. Run 2 wire + ground between the first can and the remaining cans.
Old 10-10-05, 11:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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In summary, the two traveler wires need to run uninterupted from one switch to the other. Only a neutral wire and a switched hot needs to go to the fixtures.
Old 10-16-05, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. It certainly makes sense to wire it as you've suggested. One other question I have is what type of sheathing is required for a project like this?

I live in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago and all of the electrical for new construction is run in conduit. For other lighting projects I've done I've used armored cabling but I don't know that this is a definite requirement to satisfy electrical code.

For this project all of the cable will be inside the walls and ceiling. Can I use NM, which would be far easier to work with, especially since I'll be pulling two separate cables through most of the entire run?
Old 10-18-05, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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You likely cannot use NM then,as that is against city code. You probably can use MC cabling.

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