Rewiring Basement Lights

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  #1  
Old 09-27-09, 08:45 PM
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Rewiring Basement Lights

I could use a little help figuring out how to replace the wiring for my basement lights. Here is the scenario:

I have a single switch at the top of the stairs and 5 florescent fixtures to install. The breaker panel is at the opposite end of the basement from the stairs (approx 70 ft run to the switch). The first light is 6' from the panel, and the others are pretty much in a line to the stairway. I know I need to feed the switch first, but am confused as to how exactly to begin (and finish for that matter). Can anybody help?
 
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Old 09-27-09, 09:03 PM
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I'd probably put the switch last, otherwise you're running a lot of wire.

How many watts are the fixtures? Adjust the wire gauge to match your requirements.

I'd probably run 14-2 from the first panel to the fixture by the panel. From that fixture, to each other fixture, run 14-3. From the last fixture to the switch, 14-2.

1st fixture by panel: black-black, white-white-fixture white, red - fixture black.

2nd- 4th fixture: black-black, white-white-fixture white, red-red-fixture black.

5th fixture by stairs: white from 3 wire cable - fixture white. red on 3 wire - black from switch - fixture black. Other end of switch loop (white but should be marked black - black from 3 wire cable.

Can you follow my description? Hope it helps.
 
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Old 09-27-09, 09:15 PM
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One way is to run 14-2 from the panel to the nearest light then 14-3 between each light and 14-2 between the last light and the switch..

At the first light the white from the panel, white from light, and white to next light would be connected together.

At the first light black from the panel would be connected to the red to the next light.

Black of the light to black of the cable to the next light.

At the second light:

All whites together
Reds together
All blacks together

3rd, 4th,5th, 6, same as second light.

At the Last light;

White of two conductor cable to switch recolored red on both ends.

White of cable from previous light to white of light.

All blacks together.

Red (recolored white) of switch loop to red from previous light.

At switch red and black to switch.

Grounds connected at each light and pigtailed to light. Grounds connected to switches and pigtailed to box if metal. Breaker is 15a.

Note code requires the white wire of the switch loop to be recolored or marked with tape other then white but does not specify a color. You may recolor or mark with tape of any color except green. I use red for simplicity in my directions but it could be another color.

Opps got to type faster next time, aandpdan beat me to it.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-27-09 at 09:42 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-27-09, 10:18 PM
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Wow, you guys are fast!! I think I am all set on the wiring layout, even the recoloring of the white wires at the 5th light and switch makes sense.
The only question I still have is about what size wire to use. Each fixture takes 4 32W T-8 bulbs. So 32X4X5=640 watts total. Correct? Is 14 AWG still going to be ok, or do I need to step it up to 12?
 
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Old 09-27-09, 10:26 PM
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Actually a bit more then that because of the ballast but it is only around 7 amps and so a 15 amp breaker is more then enough and you only need #14 on a 15 amp breaker.
 
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Old 09-27-09, 10:29 PM
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Great!! Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 09-27-09, 10:53 PM
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aandpdan used a different choice of colors for the continuous power to the switch and the return power from the switch so don't mix my instructions and his.
 
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