Wire Routing Puzzle

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Old 02-02-13, 06:36 AM
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Wire Routing Puzzle

I want to add four 120V recessed down lights in our family room. We have two floors of living space and this room is on the first floor so I shouldnít have to deal with insulation when I install the remodel frame-in kits for the lights. And the switch will be located on an interior wall so again no insulation issues. What I donít understand is how to wire the lights to the switch. It seems I will need to drill upward through the header plate (and whatever other structural members are there) from the switch box cutout in the wall with a very long shank drill bit. Then I need to route the Romex vertically up through that hole and then horizontally over to holes Iíll cut in the ceiling for the frame-in kits. The horizontal run to the first down light is probably a good 8 feet. Just how does one do that? I have a conventional spring steel electrical fish tape but I donít know how to make a 90 degree bend with it. Is there some kind of steerable or directional fish tape available to do this? Can they be rented? Please donít tell me I need to cut an access hole in the ceiling near where the drilled hole in the header will be located so I can snag the fish tape and redirect it horizontally. I need a silver bullet here.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 07:04 AM
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Wiring

Have you considered cutting an access hole near the top of the wall directly above the switch? You could then drill the top plate, run you fish tape from the switch to this access hole, through the drilled hole and into the cavity above. The pros will follow with other ideas.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 08:00 AM
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You may need to cut an access hole to help make the bend. You could also drill a larger than needed hole to give the cable room to bend. I would try to fish from the ceiling hole over to the wall and snag another fish tape inserted through the hole in the top plate.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 11:21 AM
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I have done it but it's very hard to do
You can use a DiVersiBit to drill from the switch up thru the header.

Then you would need have a recessed fixture in the same beam section as the switch. Send a snake in from the recessed fixture hole towards the area over the wall switch.

Send a snake up from the switch box. You'll need a mirror or I use a snake camera to get the snake to go into the hole that was drilled in the header.

Now you have to have the snakes lock together and you pull both of the snakes out at the recessed fixture.

This was done due to some very intricate crown molding that would have been almost impossible to replace.


If you have a sheetrock ceiling and sheetrock wall it's much easier to just cut a notch as wide as the wire. Put one staple to hold wire in place and then patch back over it.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 11:57 AM
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Either cut an access hole in the ceiling above the switch location or, better yet, use a stud finder to locate the joists in the ceiling/floor. If the joists are perpendicular to the wall where you want to mount the switch, and if one of the joist bays is above the switch, you should have a top plate at the top of the wall that you can drill through with a flexible drill bit, as PJ suggested.

You will need that bit to run the wire between the lights anyway, unless you are planning to install all four of them in a straight row in the joist bay above the switch.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 07:00 PM
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Ugghh!!

OK, so no silver bullet. My options (thank you all for your suggestions) sound a like a fair amount of aggravating work. Iím wondering if I might have another option. There are already two recessed lights in the ceiling in this room, controlled by a wall switch. Unfortunately, my wife wants the existing two lights to be controlled by one switch, and the other four Iím trying to add be controlled by another switch. Is it possible to install some kind of radio or power line controlled remote relays in the ceiling? If I bypassed the existing wall switch I could have always-on 120V to a location in the ceiling. Then if I connected two remotely controlled relays it seems like I could create two separate circuits to operate the two banks of recessed lights. If the relays received their power from the 120V feed I wouldnít have to worry about replacing batteries up in the ceiling. I donít have a problem replacing batteries in the wall switches. Is there a Bluetooth or power line switching system to do this? Oh yeah, she wants these two banks of lights to dimmable. Any hope here?
 
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Old 02-02-13, 09:09 PM
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Yes. As one example, you can use X10 controls to do what you're describing.

To do that, you'll need to have cans that are deep enough, and lamps (bulbs) that are short enough to allow you to add 1-1/2" to the length of each lamp.

Then you can install an X10 Socket Rocket in each can and a Slimline switch on the wall to control the lights in up to three sets. The bottom rocker on the Slimline controller is a dimmer control that you can use to dim or brighten the last set you turned on.

Caution - use lamps that are low-heat to avoid overheating the Socket Rockets.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 11:06 AM
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Hmmm, Maybe

So with this approach you control the lights one socket at a time. I will have a total of 6 recessed lights so I'd need two of the Slimline switches. I looked at the links you provided (thanks!) but can't determine if I can dim only one socket or all three--do you know? Does X10 make remote relays so I could be dealing with just two circuits? I have plenty of room in the joist bay to mount some relays. Controlling six lights one at a time probably won't pass the wife acceptance test, especially if only two of the six can be dimmed.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 03:37 PM
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So with this approach you control the lights one socket at a time. I will have a total of 6 recessed lights so I'd need two of the Slimline switches.
No, I don't think so. In fact I doubt if that would work.

Does X10 make remote relays so I could be dealing with just two circuits? I looked at the links you provided (thanks!) but can't determine if I can dim only one socket or all three--do you know?
All six of the lights will be on the same electrical circuit. If, by circuit, you mean a switch group, one Slimline will control, and dim,
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
up to three sets.
You can set the room up as all six at once; one and five; one, one and four; two and four; etc.

I have plenty of room in the joist bay to mount some relays. Controlling six lights one at a time probably won't pass the wife acceptance test, especially if only two of the six can be dimmed.
This will not require any relays in the joist bays. If you were to do that, you would have to make the relays accessible, but X10 doesn't use those.

You will need a transceiver or base station plugged in somewhere - preferably on the same circuit. That's what the wall switch talks to, and the transceiver or base station actually controls the Socket Rockets.

I'll suggest that you read the links again, keeping in mind that these are wireless home automation controls that you're looking at.
 
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