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BSB74 06-04-2013 07:48 AM

Help with rewiring light fixtures to switches
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Hello guys, first post so hope it goes ok. Want to fix some wiring in my basement after I divided a room into two rooms. I'm a little confused on how I should wire this up so I can separate the two light fixtures from one switch, to having the two light fixtures operate on their own separate switches (add another light switch). Right now both light fixtures are wired to one light switch, which turns both on. Since the room is divided and I will barely be in one of the rooms I thought why have the light on in that room, just have another switch to turn it on when need be. I haven't did much electrical work in the past, but I really want to give this a go and start it this weekend. I have attached a terrible drawing to show how the wiring is hooked up as of now. Try not to laugh at drawing, I know it's pathetic. The other thing is the power source first enters light fixture B and then everything if feed from their. I don't have an issue with the receptacles being wired the way the are, it works for my set up. I just want to have Light Switch A operate Light Fixture A and Light Switch B operate Light Fixture B, not both on one light switch. oh yes, I'm located in Toronto, Canada so I wanted to make sure all is do to code. I appreciate all feedback in advance, thank you.

CallMeVilla 06-04-2013 08:32 AM

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This is not hard for you to do. Just takes some realigning and careful wiring. The basic diagram below will give you the idea.

1. Run PS to the switch box (plastic preferred). Make sure you get a "deep box" to handle the number of wires.
2. Run wires (14-NB with ground) to each light separately. Feed them back to the switch box (label them to be careful)
3. Run wire from first duplex back to switch box. Label it.
4. Connect all white wires
5. Connect black pigtails to botton screw of each switch. Connect black from each switch to top screw of each respective swicth. Thus, the black wire for Ceiling Light A connects to Switch A. Same with Light/Switch B.
6. Connect black wire from PS, Switch A pigtail, Swith B pigtail and black wire to Outlet.
7. Connect all grounds.

There is one problem with this configuration. The outlets should be powered separately from the lights. Since you only have one power lead, you seem stuck. Thus, the lights might flicker a bit when you fire up that 120V table saw ... Do I get a big LIKE? :D

BSB74 06-04-2013 09:57 AM

Thanks very much for reply CallMeVilla. Your drawing looks a lot better than that mess I drew up lol. Would there be anyway to still use the power source from light fixture? The ceiling is finished in the other rooms so it might be a real pain to pull wire to light switch. Plus I don't think I feel comfortable doing any work on the panel itself if I was actually able to pull wire from panel to light switches. I will have another look tonight to see if I can get the wire from fixture to switch without much ceiling removal. I thinking the existing wire might be to short to run to the new light switch, from it's existiing location at light fixture. Thanks again for info.

nealtw 06-04-2013 10:10 AM

Is the rest of the basement finnished or do you have access to ceiling joists from another area?

BSB74 06-04-2013 10:50 AM

Yes nealtw, the whole basement is finished, except those two small rooms. The panel, of course, is located on the other side of house.

bud16415 06-04-2013 11:02 AM

If you are ok with LSA being in the same box as LSB, you show them side by side in your drawing. They make a switch that controls 2 lights from a single box. You don’t have to run a new wire to the panel or to the far light (A) but you need to run one pair of wires from your LSA/LSB switch to the light (B).

You have power available at light (A) to power both lights and you can make connections in the light (B) box to do everything you need per Villa’s drawing.

nealtw 06-04-2013 11:11 AM

Bud: I think he wants the switch in the second room with the light.

CallMeVilla 06-04-2013 11:26 AM

It IS PROBABLY possible to rewire the left side without tearing up the wall. However the right side (you call it Light A) needs a separate power feed, through a separate switch. (Look closely at my diagram).

At this point, your left light (Light B) has PS, the wires for both A and B connecting. You will need to run a new ROMEX from the switch box to Light B so you can connect power to Light A.

Can you do the fishing from the existing switch box location to the left light? It is not hard ... just run one ROMEX 14 NM-2 with ground and then the reiwring can be done.

bud16415 06-04-2013 11:32 AM

In that case he will have to add another switch and its only speculation on how his rooms are finished and what would be best. He did say he won’t hardly ever be in the other room and didn’t want the light going for such limited usage.

He could get an adapter or a light socket with a pull cord for the seldom used room. Then he wouldn’t have to do anything hardly and on the rare times he needed light in the back room he could turn on the main light and pull the cord on the second light.

bud16415 06-04-2013 11:44 AM

There are two ways to wire a switch one being how Villa shows it with power to switch. The other being what I suggested as he now has power to the light (B) he needs to break both circuits at (B) and then run the other method using the two wires as travelers to go down to the switch.

Then all he needs is a wire from a switch to one of the two lights. If he can get by with two switches together then he won’t need to install a switch box just pull some wire along the same path he already has some run.

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