Multiple flourescent install...using one light switch!

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Old 01-18-11, 12:08 PM
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Multiple flourescent install...using one light switch!

Hello,

Looking to revamp by dark garage with new flourescent lighting to continue building my classic car. I need to know from you experts if the following will work of if i need to do something different. I plan to connect 3 fixtures with two flourescent lights in each (probably 32 or 40 w).

Using the existing wall swtich that leads to one bulb in the middle of the garage, i plan to use this same single switch to draw power. I plan to remove the light fixture then connect the black to black, white to white, ground to ground to light #1 using 14/2 romex. Then from light #1 connect black to black, white to white and ground to ground to light #2. Same process for light #3.

So when i turn the wall switch on...all 3 lights should come on.

Will this daisy-chain work? Is there a better way to do it?

Appreciate your assistance.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 12:28 PM
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Sounds good but are you sure the lighting is on a 15a breaker? If it is a 20a breaker you should use 12-2.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 12:40 PM
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Make sure all your connections are in accessible junction boxes.

Also...are you sure that's enough light? I have 5 2-tube fixtures in a 20 x 25 garage (one of those is above the workbench) and have at times wished I had put in 2 more. Mine are open fixtures that are ceiling mounted. My last place had 4 2-tube industrial reclaimed hanging fixtures with vented reflectors and it was much brighter it seemed. Could be cause this garage is slightly bigger and is painted an off white (though glossy) where as the last one was bright white with a glossy flat steel garage door also.
Can't have too much sometimes. I have the ones here on a single switch as you describe...but I also have pull chains on each one so I can adjust as needed.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 02:04 PM
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ray...i'm pretty sure it's a 20a breaker, does that mean i could not use the 14/2 and must use 12-2? Can you explain why, what's the reason? (sorry new to this).

gunguy...i hope it's enough light, i plan to focus in the area needing it the most.

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-18-11, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GCF150 View Post
ray...i'm pretty sure it's a 20a breaker, does that mean i could not use the 14/2 and must use 12-2? Can you explain why, what's the reason? ....
#12 is the minimum size wire permitted by code on a 20a circuit. A # 14 could overheat on a 20a breaker before the breaker. The overheating doesn't affect just the wire but also the insulation on it. Code looks at the maximum possible load not the load you intend to draw.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 04:03 PM
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Ok, so basically the 12/2 is to prevent overheating...got it! So i should also be ok to use he 12/2 between each of the other lights #2 and #3?

Is it still recommended to to use 12/2 even if it's 3, 4 or 5 light fixtures (2 bulb each)?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 04:13 PM
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Yes, you must use #12 on all parts of the circuit if it is a 20 amp breaker.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 12:37 PM
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Does the 12/2 come in any other color other than yellow? I was planning to run on the outside of ceiling but now thinking about seeing if i can run through the attic...which is very small crawl space in my garage.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 02:06 PM
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It would be best to run through the attic. If you want to do this surface wired use THWN in conduit.

Note if you do use Romes you can not run Romex on the surface of the wall to the ceiling. You will need to run it in the wall to the attic or sheath it in conduit to the point it enters the attic.

If you do an all surface mount conduit installation it is best to use individual THHN or THWN conductors not Romex.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 04:14 PM
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So to clarify:
1. If i run through the attic then i only need the romex 12/2 and nothing more to all lights.
2. If i run, not up the wall, just from my ceiling junction box on the outer part of the ceiling (visible to the eye) to all lights then i have to use THWN in conduit.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 06:26 PM
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I suggest putting one light over the existing box where your one light is. On an 8' strip light you will find there is a large knock out in the middle of the fixture. This KO is there so you can still access the J-box with the light in place (which is also required by code).

Then, after you get your first light, plan where you want your next two lights. (sounds like one more on each side will do nicely.) On the sides of the fixtures you will see there are some prepunched ko the size for 1/2" connectors. They are 7/8" in diameter. From these you should use some EMT to run between each fixture and install some #12 THHN for your wires. A ground is not required (But the first fixture must be grounded with the ground in the box) but you may run one if you like. Make your connections inside each fixture and close them up when your done.

For your fixtures I suggest getting some T-8 fixtures (8', 4 lamps each) 4100K . These will be good down to 0 degrees F. Should light the garage nicely.
 
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Old 01-24-11, 10:14 AM
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All...thanks for your input.

I have decided to install inside ceiling and drop to each light as needed. I will be buying the 12/2 to use in all legs of the install as to avoid overheating. I don't need THHN...correct? Also any ideas on home made fishingtape...i don't have a line currently available?
 
 

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