Help with rewiring light fixtures to switches

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by BSB74, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Jun 4, 2013 #1

    BSB74

    BSB74

    BSB74

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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.

    Basement Wiring.jpg
     
  2. Jun 4, 2013 #2

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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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

    RELIGHT.jpg
     
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  3. Jun 4, 2013 #3

    BSB74

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    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.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2013 #4

    nealtw

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    Is the rest of the basement finnished or do you have access to ceiling joists from another area?
     
  5. Jun 4, 2013 #5

    BSB74

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    Yes nealtw, the whole basement is finished, except those two small rooms. The panel, of course, is located on the other side of house.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2013 #6

    bud16415

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    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.

    http://images.meredith.com/diy/images/2009/03/p_SCW_102_02.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  7. Jun 4, 2013 #7

    nealtw

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    Bud: I think he wants the switch in the second room with the light.
     
  8. Jun 4, 2013 #8

    CallMeVilla

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    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.
     
  9. Jun 4, 2013 #9

    bud16415

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    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.
     
  10. Jun 4, 2013 #10

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    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.
     
  11. Jun 4, 2013 #11

    BSB74

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    I appreciate the posts guys. Will have another look tonight when I get home and see about access and if power source can be strung to light switch instead of the light fixture. Keep you all posted soon. Again, much appreciated for advice.
     
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  12. Jun 4, 2013 #12

    nealtw

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    Bud: I never would have thought of it but a pull string does sound like a good option and as the power goes to B first, A could be rewired to be live with out the switch. For a storage room he could also just run a protected exposed wire to a new switch from light A
     
  13. Jun 4, 2013 #13

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Yep if it’s just a storage room he could use his switch he has now for the main light just as it is and bypass the switch and run the second light as always on and use a pull cord switch in the back room. The other method that I like for a room like that if finished is surface mount wiring. Looks a little better than running the wire on the wall and is a simple install for DIYer.

    http://www.mlive.com/homeandgarden/index.ssf/2012/09/stan_harrison_15.html

    http://hyderabadghar.com/homeneeds/electrical15.php
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
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  14. Jun 4, 2013 #14

    bud16415

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    BSB74



    There is no reason to look at moving the source power to the switches. It is fine and actually better in your case it is coming to the light first.


     
  15. Jun 5, 2013 #15

    BSB74

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    Ok guys I poked around a little last night. The power source is definitely to short to pull to switch box, from light fixture. There are two rooms that have finished ceilings between the panel box and the room I need to rewire. I guess the pull string could be a good option, but was really wanting to use two separate switches. That would be good news bud16415 if the setup is better with power source to light fixture. Just wish I could tie the light switches in switch box together, then run one separate cable back to other light, so they operate separately. I'll look further into the pull string option for one of the light fixtures that would barely be used. Not sure if it matters but the receptacle by the light switches will only be used for a plug-in CO detector. The other receptacle, further away, will only have a fridge plugged into it. I definitely will not be plugging the power saw in down their lol. Thanks fellas.
     
  16. Jun 5, 2013 #16

    bud16415

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    “Just wish I could tie the light switches in switch box together, then run one separate cable back to other light, so they operate separately.”


    That’s exactly what you can do. In fact you can run the new cable back to ether of the two light boxes and make the light work in the other room. You have power to the first light (B) and a wire from there to the second light (A). If you can get a wire from LSA to ether (A) or (B) light you will have what you want.

    I suggested a double switch if you don’t mind both switches where LSB is now. That way you won’t have to mount a box. The double switch will fit in a single box.

    If you want the switch in the room with (A) then you have to mount a box for a new switch and run a “pair of wires” one cable from it to (A). If it’s a storage room and walls are finished and difficult to run a wire thru the wall and ceiling you can then do it with surface mounted switch box and wire track.
     
  17. Jun 5, 2013 #17

    nealtw

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    And then there are remote controled light switches.
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCQ3lhpQQXQ[/ame]
     
  18. Jun 5, 2013 #18

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I thought about mentioning that but went low tech with the pull cord idea. I saw the other day something about you will be able to control your whole house from an iPhone. Even the doors will unlock when it sees it’s your phone standing outside. I’m not opposed to high tech but all that to turn a light on seems a little much. But then again compared to ripping up a wall I guess its cost effective. You still have to get into the wall and ceiling though to install it. They need one you just screw in the socket and screw the bulb into. Better yet build the chip into every bulb and do the iPhone thing.
     
  19. Jun 5, 2013 #19

    nealtw

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    The day is coming, just like kings, we can can sit on the throne and control our little world.
     
  20. Jun 10, 2013 #20

    BSB74

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    OK guys, wife and kids gave me a couple hours Sunday to mess around with this. I ran a new wire from Light Fixture A back to Light Switch A. I kept the power source still entering into Light Fixture B. The dividing wall for the two rooms has the 3 gang box mounted their with the two separate light switches and one receptacle. Wired all back together, but now I have Light Fixture A on even though the switch is in the off position and Light Fixture B is off. I decided to switch some wiring were the the power source enters Light Fixture B, but ended up not working and popping the circuit at the panel when I turned on Light Switch B. Fun, Fun. Ran out of time so I just left the circuit turned off for now and have no lights now lol. I don't think I wiring it correctly at the light switch box. Will give it another go sometime this week I hope, pending the kids :rolleyes:. Thanks all.
     

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