Track lighting question

Closed Thread

  #1  
Old 12-08-06, 10:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Track lighting question

Hello,
I am preparing to install track lighinting at a store that i work at...tracks are going into three large showrooms..My question is...How many tracks and\or lights should i have on one breaker? Any help would be great!! Thanks in advance!!
Fidget
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-08-06, 12:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Something does not add up here. Only an electrician should be doing this work in a business. An electrician would know the answer to the questions you are asking.

Sorry to be blunt, but if you are not an electrician, you would be a fool to do any electrical work of this nature.
 
  #3  
Old 12-08-06, 08:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Thumbs down

I am sorry,
I thought this was a DOITYOURSELF site.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-06, 05:56 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
This is a do-it-yourself site. But commercial work is NOT a do-it-yourself job.
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-06, 08:25 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,800
The replies here are correct but it must also be considered that he will probably do it anyway. The answers have been given for safety but if he goes ahead and does it with out help that isn't safe either. An interesting conundrum.

Fidget, at least read some books and do some searches if you are not going to take the very good advice here. Best though is just say no.
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-06, 03:06 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Fidget,

The issue is one of ilibility. Doing work on your own house is one thing. On a commercial building or a rental property is another.

In some locales it is against the law for anyone but a licensed electrician to do this sort of work. In ALL places it is downright stupid for you to do this. One little problem, even if perhaps not your fault, and you could go to jail for the rest your life.

Okay, it would have to be a big problem for you to go to jail for the rest of your life, but my point is this: Are you willing to risk the liability for something like this? I know I would NOT risk it. It just isn't worth it. One mis-wire and a fire could happen. You could then be sued for everything you have and don't have. Not worth the risk in my book.

If the wiring is already in place, then your question is moot. Using existing wiring will not allow you to change the number of lights on a circuit. Only rewiring will allow that.

As for differences, there may be differences you don't know about. Some commercial buildings have three phase power. Some commercial buildings make extensive use of multi-wire circuits.

You are entering a whole new world when you enter a commercial building.
 
  #7  
Old 12-09-06, 03:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Its not like i am going into this completely blind....I had four years of electrical classes in high school..I also know how to use a multi meter to double check there is zero amps running through the wires before i handle them. On another note, Its not like i am just starting from scratch and installing lighting...there are already lights up that i am removing (with breakers pulled of course) and putting up track lighting.
I know black hot wire goes to copper contact while the white neutrel wire goes to silver contact and the last contact is for the bare ground wire...Switches (which are already installed) are to be connected to the hot wire.
If doityourself does not want to help thats fine.....there are much more harmful things on the net besides good expert advice..

And i dont understand what makes it more unsafe to wire a commerical building...Its 110 volts just like in my home! its track lighting just like the tracks in my master bedroom, That i put up myself, but that was only 2 tracks!
I will be doing this job with or with out help....It probably wont take me long to find any answer i seek other places on the net, i just thought a site called doityourself would be the best placce to ask questions...If i was a FOOL like stated eairlier i would have started this job already, without seeking out answers that i needed.
So again, thats for any help you are willing to give...If you dont feel safe providing an amature with this info i can search elsewhere
 
  #8  
Old 12-09-06, 04:35 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Wink

#I had four years of electrical classes in high school..#

Classes? Or electrical school? Very big difference.

#I also know how to use a multi meter to double check there is zero amps running through the wires before i handle them.#

This is reason #2. If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

Just don't put your self in this spot. Forbid something ever happend,your on the hook your boss walks,your fired, and then they hire someone who looks just like you.It's a bussiness, they pay now,write off later. don't get involved.

By the way, you did get some very good DIY advice.
 
  #9  
Old 12-09-06, 05:03 PM
hornetd's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
It's not just like your house!

It may indeed be 120 volts to those particular lighting outlets but the service to that building may well be 208/120 three phase or 480/277 3 phase with transformers to supply receptacles and 120 volt lighting. The fluorescent lighting may be 277 volt. In some areas of the country the power to a small commercial building may be 240/120 delta high leg three phase. Problem is that we cannot see it from were we are and if we give you bad advice we could get you or others killed or burn that building down. Store lighting is considered a continuous duty load. A circuit supplying such loads may only be loaded to 80% of it's ampacity. So if the lighting is supplied by a twenty ampere circuit that is carrying NO OTHER LOADS then it can carry sixteen amps worth of lighting. At 120 volts that is 1920 watts of lighting as an absolute maximum. So if your lights are halogens then you just divide 1920 by the wattage of the bulbs and you have the maximum number of bulbs that the circuit will carry. That does presume that you have checked very carefully to make sure that the circuit in question is only carrying those lights and nothing else. Best practice in a commercial occupancy is to have at least two lighting circuits serving every compartment. The building and fire codes require that the entire floor area be lighted to a certain number of foot candles depending on the occupancy classification. One or more of your existing lighting outlets may be on an emergency circuit which must be kept totally separate from all other power. Now do you begin to understand the concerns that others are raising.
 
  #10  
Old 12-09-06, 05:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Smile

Thanks hornetd
That was all i needed to know! a simple answer to a simple question!


And racraft-#If the wiring is already in place, then your question is moot. Using existing wiring will not allow you to change the number of lights on a circuit. Only rewiring will allow that.

HOw is this? i am taking down lights that are not on a track.Using the existing romex wire i am installing track lighting..With a track i could be stupid (as you put it) and load 20 sockets on it. so my question is not "moot"

Thanks again hornetd!!!
 
  #11  
Old 12-09-06, 05:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Fidget, hornetd's answer is something you should know if you had "four years of electrical classes in high school". It is also something that would be covered in even the most basic of books on wiring.

I maintain that you are in over your head. I hope you don't kill anyone.
 
Closed Thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'