How to add can lights?

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Old 01-02-10, 09:00 PM
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How to add can lights?

Hello everyone,

I am your typical Do-it-yourselfer when it comes to home improvement projects. I have a FROG in my house that is really dim. It currently has one ceiling fan in the room, but with the layout of the room that is not enough. I want to add 3 can lights to the room in order to brighten it up.

Now, for my question, can I add the 3 can light into a series with the ceiling fan so that I can utilize the existing wall switch? What I was thinking about doing is install the can lights into the ceiling basically in a row with the ceiling fan being in the middle. I am wondering if I can remove the current existing wiring powering the ceiling fan and move it to the first light, and then wire the other 2 can lights and the ceiling fan in order.

Will this plan work?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 07:13 AM
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Your wiring will be in parallel instead of series, just for clarification. If you want to control all the lighting as well as the fan from the same switch, you can just come off the ceiling fan connecting white to white and black to black, continuing to your first light, then on to #2, #3, and #4 sort of like in a big loop. Grounding wires are understood.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 08:09 AM
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Watch that you do not space the lights too close to the fan so you do not get a strobe effect when the blades spin.

If you do not have two switches I would consider adding one just for the recessed so the fan does not always need to be on. you could also run the fan when you do not want the lights.

What is a FROG?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 08:37 AM
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Jim, I'm glad you asked that question. I would have been embarrassed to find a simple answer. We have a FROG lighting system at our Church.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 06:49 PM
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Hey guys,

thanks for the reply. First a FROG is a Finished, Room, Over, the Garage. I was considering adding the lights on the single switch, until you mentioned the part about not being able to turn off the lights and use just the fan.

If i want to add another switch, how would the wiring go then? I assume that i would wire all the can lights in order 1,2,3 then take the wire after light 3 to the top of the new switch. Then wire down to the circuit breaker panel from the bottom of the new switch. My real question comes in on how to add the new breaker. I know i wire the ground to the ground bar, do i then wire the white to the bus bar and the black to the break? Also, is it possible to kill all power to the panel just be killing the main breaker?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 07:17 PM
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It might not be necessary to run a new circuit for the lights. Check to see what is on the same breaker that already controls the fan and report back. Be sure to see if the receptacles go off also.

Is there just one switch for the fan currently? How many and what color wires are in the fan box now?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 07:37 PM
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Ok, went out and check the breaker panel, flipped the breaker that listed the FROG and the stairway going up the the FROG. Confirmed with an outlet tester that it also controlled the outlets in the FROG. Went into the attic space and also confirmed that it controlled the single outlet and light in the attic. The interesting part of this though is that when i flipped the breaker it also cut the power to my TV in the living room. Went around the living room and tested all the outlet and they worked as they are listed on a separate breaker in the panel. I do know that the fireplace (where the TV is) was added as an after thought in this house and the FROG was only roughed in when we bought it. So i assume they just tied it in?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 08:18 PM
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Might have just grabbed the closest source of power.

Based on your post it seems like there is plenty of capacity in the circuit to add the lights to the existing circuit.

You may be able to add a cable from the switchbox to the first recessed, but we would need to confirm that a switch loop is not involved. It would also be helpful if you answered about the wires in the fan box.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 08:53 PM
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Ok, there is currently only one switch that controls the fan/light in the room. It is strangely on the outside of the room at the top of the stairs in a box with the switch that controls the stairway lights. From what i can see there is a black, white, and red wire controlling the fan/light. Inside the two light switch box there are four wires coming into the box.

On a side note, and not related to this issue. I changed out two of the existing flood lights on the outside of the house to motion sensor lights i picked up from Lowes. When i wired them up i noticed that there were only a black and white wire coming from the fixture (no ground) how can that be? The old flood lights did have a ground though.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hwkscr View Post
Ok, there is currently only one switch that controls the fan/light in the room. It is strangely on the outside of the room at the top of the stairs in a box with the switch that controls the stairway lights. From what i can see there is a black, white, and red wire controlling the fan/light. Inside the two light switch box there are four wires coming into the box.
Ok let me step in here for a minuite .,

With the switch box you looking at there at the moment you have legit netural in that switch box so if easy to snake the wire in to the switch box you can go this route otherwise I will expain with ceiling fan that get tricky but do you want the cans luminaire be on with fan luminaire at the same time or want it seperated ?

The reason why due I may come up with diffrent conferagetion with connections so let me or other members here know first so we can give you the correct connection.


On a side note, and not related to this issue. I changed out two of the existing flood lights on the outside of the house to motion sensor lights i picked up from Lowes. When i wired them up i noticed that there were only a black and white wire coming from the fixture (no ground) how can that be? The old flood lights did have a ground though.
Some floodlight luminaire do not have ground wire in there due they have plastic housing so it don't need it.

But just give you a head up some motion sensor DO NOT work very well with compact flourscent bulbs at all if you go that route { some case they will be dim or flicker }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 01-04-10, 06:48 AM
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I want to add the cans on to a separate switch, so that i can use the fan and cans independently. I understand how to tie them into the current fan.
 
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Old 01-06-10, 07:58 AM
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so, can anyone point me in the right direction on how to wire in the new switch.
 
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Old 01-06-10, 08:08 AM
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You said there are 4 wires in the switch box. Can you describe the colors and the connections in the box and to the switch? Once we are sure of where the power is we can get you moving in the right direction.
 
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Old 01-08-10, 01:05 PM
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OK this is what i have, the only differences in the switches is that the one on the right says "common" in it and its a little thinker then the other. Looks like i would have to remove the existing box and add in a new three switch box too.


 
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Old 01-11-10, 08:21 PM
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Do the pictures help at all? Does this give you a better idea of what i have to work with?
 
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Old 01-11-10, 09:39 PM
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You should be able to wire the cans from the fan. Simplest in my opinion would be to run individual cables to the left and right from the fan box and not try to move the cable from the switch to a new location. The side where you have two cans you can feed the second can from the first.
 
 

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