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Question about wiring 2 shop lights to run from 1 single pole switch

Question about wiring 2 shop lights to run from 1 single pole switch

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  #1  
Old 01-03-11, 04:57 PM
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Question about wiring 2 shop lights to run from 1 single pole switch

I want to wire 2 shop lights to run from a single switch and am not sure how to do that (new to wiring). Nothing on the circuit yet except the switch. Circuit is 20 amps. Wire from switch to sub-panel is 12/2. Advice is appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-03-11, 05:05 PM
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From the switch run a 12/2 to the first light. Then run a 12/2 from the first light to the last light. Be sure to use a connector listed for NM-b cable where the cable enters the light.

In the switch box, connect the whites together. Connect the black from the panel to one screw of the switch and the black going to the lights on the other screw of the switch. The grounds will be connected together and then run a pigtail (a short piece of wire) from the ground splice to the ground screw on the switch.

In the lights, connect everything color for color (Black(s) to black(s), white(s) to white(s) ) and connect the ground(s) to the metal frame of the light fixture by using the green screw or ground lead.

All this assumes you have hard wired lights.
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-11, 06:37 PM
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Thanks Tolyn. I'm actually using shop lights that plug into receptacles and will be installing receptacles in the ceiling. Does that change anything?
 
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Old 01-04-11, 04:03 AM
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You can either remove the plug cord and wire it as TI instructed or power your receptacle off of the light switch.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by nwright View Post
Thanks Tolyn. I'm actually using shop lights that plug into receptacles and will be installing receptacles in the ceiling. Does that change anything?
Not really. Just follow previous post and where it says "lights" insert "receptacle box". On the receptacle: black to brass screws, white to silver, green to ground. I suggest splicing the wires and pigtail a wire to the receptacles.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 06:32 AM
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If you are installing these lamps in an unfinished basement (bare concrete floor) or a garage AND you need to conform to the 2008 version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) then you need to use either a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel OR you need to use a GFCI receptacle in the box for the first lamp and wire the second receptacle from the LOAD terminals of the GFCI receptacle in the first box.

If these lamps are in a finished area of the house they need to be wired from an AFCI circuit breaker.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 07:48 AM
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Thank you both for the advice
 
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Old 01-04-11, 02:44 PM
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If you are feeding receptacles, or a load over 15 amps, you need a 20A switch. Also, specification grade receptacles are reccomended. (20a recs are all spec grade)
 
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Old 01-04-11, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
If you are feeding receptacles, or a load over 15 amps, you need a 20A switch. Also, specification grade receptacles are reccomended. (20a recs are all spec grade)
Got it. That is my plan. 20 amp switch and 20 amp receptacles on hand.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 02:58 PM
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You do not need 20a switches or 20a receptacles so long as there is more then one outlet. A duplex receptacle counts as two outlets. Two lights hard wired count as two outlets. Your load is well below 20a so no need for a 20a switch..
 
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Old 01-04-11, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
You can either remove the plug cord and wire it as TI instructed or power your receptacle off of the light switch.
Mark, many hanging shoplites cannot be hardwired. The thermal rating on the ballast requires the light be hung a few inches (usually > 3") from the ceiling for air cooling. Since it is suspended and not fastened to framing, it almost must be wired with a flexible cord and plug instead of NM or similar premises wiring.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
If you are feeding receptacles, or a load over 15 amps, you need a 20A switch.
But in this case it is well under 20a so that isn't applicable.
Also, specification grade receptacles are reccomended. (20a recs are all spec grade)
I wouldn't use an absolute to describe 20a receptacles. Nothing requires them to be. spec grade, I'm sure there are also spec grade 15a receptacle. A 20a GP 120v circuit does not require 20a devices if there are two or more outlets. A duplex receptacle counts as two outlets. Even if you went to simplex receptacles for this you would still need two and that is two outlets.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
But in this case it is well under 20a so that isn't applicable.
What If someone plugs a load In to a receptacle that makes the total load more than 15A? (think heater, crock pots for more party power, christmas lights, etc
 
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Old 01-04-11, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
What If someone plugs a load In to a receptacle that makes the total load more than 15A? (think heater, crock pots for more party power, christmas lights, etc
That could happen anywhere in just about any room in a house. In this case, I am assuming the receptacles are either on the ceiling in the basement or the ceiling in his shop. Heaters and crock pots don't have cords long enough to plug into a ceiling receptacle.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
What If someone plugs a load In to a receptacle that makes the total load more than 15A? (think heater, crock pots for more party power, christmas lights, etc
The the load uses more than 15 amps it will have a 20 amp cord cap on it requiring a 20 amp receptacle. A 15 amp receptacle can handle 15 amps on each "hole".
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 01-04-11 at 06:19 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-04-11, 06:08 PM
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There is more than one receptacle, am I not correct? Think 10amps per receptacle.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 06:20 PM
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Sorry, See edit on previous post.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
There is more than one receptacle, am I not correct? Think 10amps per receptacle.
Where is this 10 amp value coming from?
 
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Old 01-05-11, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
Mark, many hanging shoplites cannot be hardwired. The thermal rating on the ballast requires the light be hung a few inches (usually > 3") from the ceiling for air cooling. Since it is suspended and not fastened to framing, it almost must be wired with a flexible cord and plug instead of NM or similar premises wiring.
I didn't know that I guess the reason I've gotten away with it in the past is because the shop lights were secured to open framing and not a finished ceiling.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Where is this 10 amp value coming from?
Someone unplugging a light and plugging something else in, like christmas lights, crock pots, heaters, etc., etc.
 
  #21  
Old 01-05-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
That could happen anywhere in just about any room in a house. In this case, I am assuming the receptacles are either on the ceiling in the basement or the ceiling in his shop. Heaters and crock pots don't have cords long enough to plug into a ceiling receptacle.
I was actually thinking of taking advantage of having the receptacles up high to also plug in an extension cord reel. Gather if so then I better make sure the first receptacle on the circuit is a GFCI
 
  #22  
Old 01-05-11, 01:19 PM
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Receptacles

I was actually thinking of taking advantage of having the receptacles up high to also plug in an extension cord reel.
Do you want the cord reel to be "always hot" or can it be "hot" only when the lights are in use?
 
  #23  
Old 01-05-11, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
Do you want the cord reel to be "always hot" or can it be "hot" only when the lights are in use?
Whoops. Forgot about that. What do I have to do if I want it to always be hot?
 
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Old 01-05-11, 03:14 PM
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Whoops. Forgot about that. What do I have to do if I want it to always be hot?
Use 12-3 instead of 12-2. If you want both to have an un-switched outlet you will either need to use a GFCI breaker or GFCI receptacle or "blank face" GFCI ahead of the switch or GFCI switch.
 
  #25  
Old 01-05-11, 05:35 PM
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I would prefer the reels to be switched, so It reduces the chance of tools mysteriously turning on. (alot of things including breakers mysteriously turn on in my house, so I would like that extra peace of mind that tools are not going to be running all night) I would be devastated if my heatgun turned on and burned the place down.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
I would prefer the reels to be switched, so It reduces the chance of tools mysteriously turning on. (alot of things including breakers mysteriously turn on in my house, so I would like that extra peace of mind that tools are not going to be running all night) I would be devastated if my heatgun turned on and burned the place down.
I suppose mysterious happenings can happen if your house haunted?
 
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