Adding ceiling pot lights without running new wire from panel

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by condoowner, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. Jul 6, 2012 #1

    condoowner

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    Hey there!

    Part of my renovations, Ive decided to add new ceiling pot lights in one of the rooms. The only thing is that I don't want to run a new wire all the way from the electrical panel since its on different levels and I'd rather not fish wires with this arrangement.

    That being said, I am left with only a few options to power the future new lights. There are two electrical boxes nearby. One is for a ceiling light fixture, and has the normal arrangement (white/black/ground). This box is fed from a standard rocker light switch.

    Then there is another electrical box which is to connect the smoke alarm. Not really sure about using this one since it might be against the fire code, the electrical code, etc....

    Last option before running a brand new line from the main panel, is to use a wall outlet which is right below where the pot lights will be.

    My favorite option would be to use the existing ceiling fixture and run a wire to the new location (short distance in the ceiling, about 4 feet). The only problem is that the existing light switch will control BOTH the existing ceiling fixture AND the new pot lights, which I dont want. The pot lights will be for "accent" only.. I dont necessarily want them on at the same time as the ceiling fixture..

    Anybody care to comment or give their recommendations/suggestions??

    Many many thanks!!!!
     
  2. Jul 6, 2012 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    As long as you don't overload a cercuit.
    If power goes to the switch first you would add another switch and then to the pot lights.
    If power goes to the light first you would take power to the first pot light and down to the new switch.
    Or you could take power from the plug to the switch and then to the pot lights.
    If there is insulation in the ceiling make sure you get the right lights rated for that.
     
  3. Jul 6, 2012 #3

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    might be a stupid question, but how do I find out if the power goes to the existing fixture first, or its switch?
     
  4. Jul 6, 2012 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Pull the light switch, if there is just a cable w/ black ,white and ground the power is going to the light first. If you have 2 cables and 2 blacks go to the switch, one of them is the power line.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2012 #5

    alexb5647

    alexb5647

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    If power is going to the switch first, you need to shut the power off to that circuit and take a multimeter and touch one probe to black and the other to ground. Whatever one you get a reading on is your power. You need to splice from your power line, neutral and ground. Then run that wire to your new switch box.
     
  6. Jul 6, 2012 #6

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    I feel the easiest way will be to run a wire from the nearest wall outlet and put a switch between the outlet and the lights.... any problems with doing so?

    I can't (or really don't want to ) use the existing light switch as it is located quite far from where the future pot lights will be located ..

    I understand if I use the wall outlet as the power source, I will have to be careful not to overload the circuit by turning the lights on and plugging a powerful device to the outlet at the same time.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2012 #7

    alexb5647

    alexb5647

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    As long as the circuit isnt overloaded, go ahead. Just connect ground, neutral, and hot at outlet. Then run that to new switch box. Connect your grounds with a pigtail to the switch and if it's a metal box make one for it too. Connect the two neutrals and put both hots on the switch. The wire that comes off the new switch just goes up to your pot lights.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2012 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    There could be meny plugs and lights on the same cercuits, so turn off the breaker and check what else is out.
     
  9. Jul 23, 2012 #9

    TGMcCallie

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    In your case, I would grab the power from the outlet to a switch and then on to the light. Just make sure that you have not over loaded the amp rating of the outlets and especially the breaker and wire. 14 gague wire carries 15 amps and 12 gague wire carries max of 20 amps.
     
  10. Jul 24, 2012 #10

    louvain

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    Don't overload or make sure to have another electrical check up. That's tbe best remedy.
     
  11. Aug 1, 2012 #11

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    Thanks guys for your helpful replies!!! Most forums dont bother replying to noobs but here I always feel "welcome"!!
    I'll look at this and post back when I tried!
     

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