Adding lights to existing circuit

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Old 12-12-15, 03:36 PM
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Adding lights to existing circuit

PJ just helped me with some HVAC wiring in the themostat forum so now I'm on to my next project:

I currently have a single light and outlet in the middle of my attic, controlled by a switch in the hallway below.

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Want to add 2 additional lights in the attic, one on either side of the existing one, all working off the same switch. My plan for each new light was to just run new 12/2 romex to either end of the attic, and tap into the existing hot and neutral wires at the ceiling box for light #1, just like the adjacent outlet currently looks to be doing. Basically like this for each light:

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I think this seems pretty straightforward, but wanted to make sure I'm not missing anything. Also that junction box will then have 5 sets of black/white wires to connect (switch + outlet + 3 lights) - issue with that or my plan in general?
 
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Old 12-12-15, 03:50 PM
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If the J box you refer to is the existing light, I only count 4 cables.
power from switch
power out to 2 lights and a receptacle

This wiring looks like 14 gauge on a 15 amp circuit. Confirm that and you don't need 12 gauge.
 
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Old 12-12-15, 03:50 PM
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Only need 14-2 for a light.
Only one wire under a screw so you need to cut the wire and pig tail.
Going to need yellow wire nuts for three wires.
 
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Old 12-12-15, 04:16 PM
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Ok, so more information:
- Circuit is 15AMP and in addition to the attic includes the lighting in two bedrooms (8 recessed lights total) and the hallway light fixture. Also includes some of the bedroom outlets and the wired smoke detector.
- The cable coming up into the attic to the outlet/light is 14/3
- I was incorrect about the outlet. It has constant power even when the switch is off. The switch uses the red and black wire. See switch wiring below:

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I assume this sort of like a switch loop circuit, so the red is the hot for the light only. Assume I just tap the red instead of black at the box for light #1?
 
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Old 12-12-15, 04:23 PM
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Need to be jumping off of that light, not the outlet.
 
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Old 12-12-15, 05:59 PM
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Assume I just tap the red instead of black at the box for light #1?
Yes. There will be connections with pigtails in the light box. You must undo the connections and add the 2 lights.

- Add the 2 new neutrals to the existing neutral bundle
- Add the 2 new hot wires to the red "bundle" (red from switch with pigtail to light should be what is there currently)

If you are overfilling the box an alternative is to wire one light into this box:

Wire one cable as above over to the first light, then run a cable all the way back to the second light.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 09:10 AM
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One more question. I purchased small porcelain lights and realized that they are now the screw type connections (no wires coming off the light). Leviton Porcelain Keyless Lampholder-R50-09875-000 - The Home Depot

As noted above, I plan on installing a line of additional lights in my attic, originating from the existing light.

For any light in the middle of the line, there will be an incoming cable from the previous light and one going out to the next light. I'll connect those two lines in the box, but what is the appropriate/code-compliant way of connecting the light itself to that bundle when the light doesn't have its own wires?

Should I just make my own wire to the light (sitting within the box) using a small section of black/white wire (from a piece of the romex with the sheathing/ground wire removed)?
 
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Old 12-28-15, 09:16 AM
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Keyless fixtures normally have screws. (I have never seen them with wires. Maybe you had something different.) With two or more cables you use pigtails as you suggested.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 09:23 AM
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Good to know, thanks. I just assumed that these fixtures previously used wires but i guess not.
 
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