Adding a light fixture

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  #1  
Old 01-10-06, 06:00 AM
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Adding a light fixture

Up in my attic, directly above my drop-down stairs, is a simple light fixture with a pull chain. Because this light only illuminates a small portion of my attic, I want to know how to add a light further down the attic. Is it possible to use the pull chain on the original fixture to operate a new fixure as well, or would I need to add a switch to operate both fixtures?

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  #2  
Old 01-10-06, 06:13 AM
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Generally speaking, the single bulb fixtures that are pull chain controlled are not designed to be extended such that the pull chain can control the additional loads. However, adding a switch is not too difficult.

To add new lights without adding a switch just run 14-2 cable from the existing light to the new light(s) and connect in an identical manner. If the circuit is a 20 amp circuit use 12-2 cable. This assumes NM is allowed in your area. If NM is not allowed then you will have to use another cable type.

If you want to add a switch, then add the switch before the first light. This would be done at the first light by running a 14-2 cable to the location for the switch. At the switch you connect the black and white wires to the switch. At the first light you connect the switch white wire to the power black wire. You then connect the switch black wire to the first light and to the black cable going to the second light. The switch white wire needs to be re-identified as hot at both ends by coloring the white insulation with a black, blue or red marker.
 
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Old 01-10-06, 06:44 AM
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Racraft, thanks.

I will need to add a switch of some kind since the new fixture would not be easy to get to (no floorboards in that part of attic!). Do they sell some kind of pull chain switch? The attic is pitch black and finding a switch on the ceiling would be a little troublesome.
 
  #4  
Old 01-10-06, 07:00 AM
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I am not aware of pull chain type toggle switches, but that does not mean they do not have them.

For a switch I suggest one of the following:

Install a switch on the wall in the hallway or room where the stairs are located. You would probably want a lighted switch (that lights when the switch is on), so you would need to use 14-3 between the first light and the switch.

Install a switch as close as possible to the opening where are the stairs are located, possible at the top of the stairs. Depending on the setup this might require a long switch loop, but at least the switch would be easily found. You could even make this a lighted switch (lighted when the switch is off, so it can be seen), although this would waste power since the switch and lights are off most of the time.

Install a switch close to the light, on the ceiling. This may not be feasible, if the ceiling is high or the switch will be hard to see.
 
  #5  
Old 01-10-06, 07:09 AM
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Wow!

A switch in the hallway, under the stairs would be perfect. I may do that if I can get the wire down there without tearing up the attic.

Thanks
 
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