Wiring design for multiple recessed lights

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  #1  
Old 01-06-05, 09:18 PM
John Keast
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Wiring design for multiple recessed lights

Hi. I am taking out several flourescent strip lights in the ceiling in the kitchen and installing about 4 x 6"recessed lights. How do I wire the new lights so that they will be controlled by the existing dual light switches.

Also, how woud I control these new lights (all at the same time) with a dimmer switch(es).
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-05, 10:04 PM
J
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Most important is to carefully record the connections and mark the wires before removing the old fixtures. The old fixtures are connected in two places to the ceiling wiring. All you have to do is connect the new fixtures to the same two places, and leave any other connections alone. If you just rip out the old fixtures without paying attention, you'll have a real mess on your hands.

If this is controlled by two 3-way switches as your post implies ("dual light switches"), all you have to do is replace one of the 3-way switches with a 3-way dimmer.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-05, 10:21 PM
John Keast
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JOhn - many thanks. A couple fo follow up questions. I wil make sure that I carefully identify the wires that power the existing strips. But assuming tI do that and want to have the light switches turn on all 4 new recessed lighst at the same time what is thew wiring required between the switches and the lights. For example do I wire each light to the junction box or do I create some sort of ring?

Also, on the dimmer -- are you saying I replce one of the light switches wiht a 3 way dimmer and leave the other light switch as is?
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-05, 10:38 PM
J
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Do not touch the switch wiring, and do not run any new wires to the switch boxes. All you need to do is change with the wiring at the lights. The details depend on exactly how many old lights you had, and where the old lights are relative to where the new lights will be. You cannot bury any splices or junction boxes, so some planning will be important.
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-05, 08:06 AM
John Keast
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John, what do you mean by not burying splices and junction boxes. Thanks

John

ps - can you point me to any diagrams showing how the wiring shoud be so I can reference it as I take out the old lights.
 
  #6  
Old 01-08-05, 12:13 PM
J
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All splices must be in permanently accessible junction boxes.

I'm not sure any diagram will help. The connections are trivial. Just run a new cable from the old location to the new location (daisy-chained). At the old location, attach the black and white wires of the new cable to exactly the same connections that the old fixture's black and white wires were connected to, no matter what that was, and without touching any other connections in the box. There are dozens of possibilities for the existing connections, but luckily this algorithm doesn't require you to understand any of them.

Then at the new locations, just connect all wires of the same color.
 
  #7  
Old 01-09-05, 06:06 PM
John Keast
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JOHn,

Thanks for clarifying. I have completed the job except the sheetrock work to fill in thelarge 6" x 4" void where the flouresents where - lights came on first time -- many thanks for your assistance.

I do have one other question relating to a 3 way dimmer switch. I would like to replace one of the switches *there are two contoling the lights) with a dimmer switch. I obtained a Lutron 3 way dimmer. The exciting on/off switch has 2 black, 1 red and 1 ground attached, but the new Lutron dimmer has 2 red, 1 black and 1 ground. So I am confused what to connect to what colorwise. Can you help me figure this out?

Once again -- many thanks
 

Last edited by John Keast; 01-10-05 at 07:52 AM.
  #8  
Old 01-09-05, 08:21 PM
J
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There are several typos in your post that I am not sure how to correct (e.g., I'm sure you don't have 21 black wires in the switch box, but I don't know whether that should be 2 or 1).

All three-way switches have two connections of one color and one connection of another color (not counting grounding). The "odd" color is always the common. It doesn't matter what the colors are.

I know that they make "smart" switches, but this is the first I've heard of a dumber switch.
 
  #9  
Old 01-09-05, 11:18 PM
John Keast
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Sorry John -- my spelling is getting worse!!!

It was 1 black -- not 21.

Thanks for clarifying the nature of the 3 wires in the 3 way dimmer -- but how do I tell which is the "common" wire admidst the various wires I have to connect too?
 

Last edited by John Keast; 01-10-05 at 07:48 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-10-05, 08:11 AM
J
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The common wire is the wire that is attached to the common connection on the switch you will remove.
 
 

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