Basement Wiring: Too Many Lights?

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  #1  
Old 01-12-11, 07:46 PM
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Basement Wiring: Too Many Lights?

I wired 17 lights on one 15 amp circuit. 12 recessed canned lights that accept a max of 60 watts, and 5 sconce lights that will be low wattage as well.

Must I split this onto two circuits, or am I okay? Seems to be working fine.

Total load, if I multiply 17 lights x 60watts, is 1140, well below the 80% allowable of 1440. Am I close on these calculations, or am I looking at it all wrong?

I can split this easily into two circuits w/8 lights on one and 9 on the other, but is this necessary, or even required by code? I could also put them onto a tandem, right, if my Challenger panel (separate post) allows for that...?
 
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Old 01-12-11, 07:57 PM
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It depends on how much more wattage the low voltage lights will add. 75 watt low voltage lights are pretty common. Maybe you should split the circuit to be safe if you have any doubts.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 09:37 PM
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I initially felt ok about it because I wanted to save space in my panel. Then, I read somewhere that a "rule of thumb" is 10 lights per 15 amp breaker...is that true?...I do have an electrician scheduled to check my work...

Thanks for the feedback!
 
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Old 01-13-11, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DMillhouse View Post
Total load, if I multiply 17 lights x 60watts, is 1140, well below the 80% allowable of 1440. Am I close on these calculations, or am I looking at it all wrong?
Your circuit is just fine. There is no 80% limit for general-purpose lighting, so the max is 1800W, which you are well under.
 
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Old 01-13-11, 03:31 PM
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Many thanks.

I do have an electrician checking my work and I'm planning on leaving it alone on the one circuit. Thanks for the reassurance. Still learning as I go...
 
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Old 01-14-11, 11:13 AM
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if you can spilt them up i would . just because if that circut goes out . will you have any lights at all left on.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 10:07 PM
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Yeah, that is a concern, as it would be pitch black down there; electrician today did not have a problem with it, though...I don't really understand why some books indicate that "10" is the recommended limit w/lights, when wattage used is low...unless they're trying to protect beginners from doing something wreckless...
 
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Old 01-15-11, 01:28 PM
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"I don't really understand why some books indicate that "10" is the recommended limit w/lights,..."
I think that the Canadian Electrical Code does impose an "outlet" (any utilizing device) restriction of some kind but that is not true in the US. Also, it is not uncommon for DIY books to misinterpret codes or in some cases outright profess that entirely wrong procedures need to be followed.
 
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