Turning 1 switch into 2?

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Old 05-05-11, 10:59 PM
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Turning 1 switch into 2?

In our kitchen we have a 4 bulb fluorescent light fixture. We'd like to replace the fluorescent fixture with pendant lights and recessed lights. Is there any way to make the pennants separately switchable from the recessed?

Thanks

E Steve K
 
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Old 05-06-11, 04:46 AM
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You would need to know where the power came in. Does it come to the fluorescent fixture first, then to the switch, or to the switch first then to the fixture? It will require either another 14-2 cable or a 14-3 cable run from the switch to the fixture locations, depending on where your power came in. So plan on running another cable up anyway. Will that present a problem?
 
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Old 05-06-11, 01:58 PM
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I guess I would need to see a diagram to understand how power could go to a fixture before going to a switch. In my simple little mind, a switch always cuts power off from the source.

Does running another cable up mean bringing a cable up from the basement fuse box? That would be a little hard.
 
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Old 05-06-11, 02:25 PM
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You would only be running a cable from the basement if you wanted a new circuit, don't think that's needed

The power can be switched anywhere, it's just more common to have it feed in to the box on the wall and get switched before it gets to the fixture
 
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Old 05-06-11, 02:52 PM
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What Mitch said. No, you would only need to possibly run a new cable from the switch box to the fixtures. Incoming power can go directly to the fixtures. You use a "switch loop" to make and break the current to the fixtures via a switch. That's why we need to know where the power comes in at. Open the switch box and with the power off, pull the switch out of the box. Let us know what the wires are, or better yet, you can post a pix of the wiring and we can see what you see. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 05-11-11, 10:01 PM
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Picture of switch

OK, I finally got around to taking a picture. Here it is below:



 
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Old 05-12-11, 07:55 AM
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You have a switch loop. That means your power comes in at the light.Is there a box where the floresent light is. Do you have accessable unfinished space above?

I guess I would need to see a diagram to understand how power could go to a fixture before going to a switch.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 09:21 AM
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Ray

Thanks for the diagram. Now it's clear to me what a switch loop is. Does it make it harder to add a separate switch for additional lights?

No, I don't have unfinished space above. I have an upstairs floor.

E Steve K
 
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Old 05-12-11, 10:39 AM
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Does it make it harder to add a separate switch for additional lights?
No. What makes it harder is no unfinished space above so you may have to cut and replace some Sheetrock to run your cables. What might make it harder is if you don't want to put a light at the current box because if you use power from it the box must remain accessible.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 11:35 AM
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Which box are you referring to? The switch box? The junction box that may be over the light?

I think the beams overhead are made with open metal struts instead of solid wood. That's how they're in the basement.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 12:41 PM
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Yes, the ceiling box.

I think the beams overhead are made with open metal struts instead of solid wood.
That would make it easier.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 01:49 PM
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We'd like to keep a light fixture at the existing spot.

For a set of separately switched recessed light fixtures, where would pull power ? This is going back to my original question.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 02:25 PM
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Since you already have power at the ceiling I would suggest pulling your power from there. Removing the existing box and cutting holes for the new boxes would give you access for fishing cables.

Basic wiring would be to run a second switch loop from the ceiling box to the existing switch box. That would control the lights you want on the new switch.

At the existing switch you could replace the existing single switch with a duplex switch. Since the switch box would need to be removed for fishing cable anyway it could be replaced with a four gang box and four single switches installed.

A In all cased you would replace removed boxes with old work boxes. At the ceiling where the current light is you would need to use a deep old work ceiling box because of the number of cables.

Note an old work four gang box may be a bit hard to find locally.
 
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