How many lights on 1 20 amp breaker?

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Old 01-15-09, 05:29 AM
Z
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How many lights on 1 20 amp breaker?

I am doing some new wiring and had a thought...how many 100w light bulbs and outlets can/should I install on 1 circuit?
 

Last edited by zizanio; 01-15-09 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:11 AM
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A 20A circuit can supply up to 2400W (120V * 20A = 2400W). Just add up the wattage of your light fixtures. Receptacles are impossible to plan for unless you have an idea of what you might be plugging in. The receptacle itself uses no power, but what you plug in makes a big difference. For example, a receptacle with a small lamp may only use 40W or 60W whereas one with a space heater plugged in might use 1800W. A vacuum cleaner uses about 1200W; which will cause a significant momentary dimming of the lights when switched on.

For this reason, it is my preference to not put lights and receptacles on the same circuit. A rule of thumb for general-purpose living spaces is to provide for 3W/square foot of lighting circuits; 8 receptacles on a 15A circuit; or 12 receptacles on a 20A circuit.
 
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Old 01-15-09, 12:35 PM
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A 20 amp circuit is only allowed to supply 1920 watts (16 amps) continuous load. Lights would be considered a continuous load (3 hours or more).
 
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