stupid question- attic lights

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  #1  
Old 06-23-02, 08:00 AM
B
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stupid question- attic lights

I was thinking about adding some attics lights for maintance while the rough-in is visible. The circuit box is one one end of house, the attic stairs on the other end. I was thinking of three lights down the ridge with switch at stairs. This is not the problem. Power come in on black, series through three light to switch and back to box on white, no problem. What is I put a plug by #2 light, half way the length of house. With the switch behind the plug, if I plug in, will the light comes on because of short circuit.
 
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Old 06-23-02, 08:42 AM
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Be careful or you'll wire your lights in series. Three insulated conductors rather than two will be required between your lights.

Run the power cable to the first light. Then run 12/3 (or 14/3 if on a 15-amp circuit) between the lghts (treat the receptalcle exactly as if it was another light). Then run 12/2 (or 14/2) from the last light to the switch.

At each box except the one closest to the switch, connect the light or receptacle's hot connection to the red wires from the 12/3 (one red wire at the light closest to the power source, two red wires elsewhere). Connect the light or receptacle's neutral connection to the two white wires. Connect the two black wires from the two cables to each other, but not to the light or receptacle.

At the light closest to the switch, things are a bit different. You'll need to connect the black wire from the switch to the red wire from the 12/3, and to the light's hot connection. Connect the black wire from the 12/3 to the white wire in the 12/2 cable to the switch (remarked black with tape or paint). Connect the white wire from the 12/3 to the neutral connection of the light.

These instructions assume you intended your receptacle to be switched along with the lights. If you intended your receptacle to be unswitched, it's a trivial modificiation. Simply connect your receptacle's hot connection to the black rather than the red wires.
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 06-23-02 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 06-23-02, 07:04 PM
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I get confused if I do not see it in person. let me try to understand. For sake of argument, just use one light. since black is continuous from breaker to switch without feeding anything, then it flow from switch down red to light(or lights) and exit light by white to netural bar. I had to draw a picture to follow.


12/2 to first box then 12/3 all the way to switch.
 
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Old 06-23-02, 07:39 PM
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Don't try to use one light to figure it out, since what works for one light will not work for multiple lights. Multiple lights ending with a switch loop is the scenario many people screw up.

12/2 to the first box, then 12/3 to the last box before the switch, then 12/2 from the last box to the switch. If you also run 12/3 from the last box to the switch, this will give you the option of continuing to supply power from there. However, you don't need 12/3 to the switch just to make the lights work. If you do run 12/3 to the switch, you'll just cap off the white wire (at the swtich) for future use (and modify my instructions for connections at the box closest to the light).

But you are right -- drawing this out on a piece of paper is the correct way to make it clear to yourself.
 
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