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Install LED Ceiling Lighting in Master Bedroom

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Benaford

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I have a home that was built in the late eighties - I've lived in it since 2014. Almost all of the lighting fixtures are dated and don't do a good job of lighting our living spaces. We have been upgrading one room at a time, and in the MBR there is one super old ceiling fan that lights the entire room. I've been reading and watching videos about these new, low profile, adjustable light temperature LED fixtures, and I'd like to try 4-6 of them in the ceiling of my MBR. Problem is, I'm not any good at electrical work. The current setup is as follows - one, 3 switch panel that has one switch that controls the fan, one that controls the light on the fan and one switch that is currently not connected to anything. I went into the attic to poke around and I can see where the three romex cables go down into wall to the switch junction box and there are also two black braided-style wires coming out of the same holes. One of the black cables runs to the fan in the middle of the ceiling. My goal is to keep this as simple as possible. I'd like to wire up the recessed LED lights to be the main source of lights in the room. Either using the switch that currently controls the lights on the fan or the empty switch - whatever is easier. I'll upload some pictures of the switch box and the wires coming out of the top of the wall.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions. Anything is appreciated.
 

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Snoonyb

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Welcome.

Remove the ceiling fan/light fixture, and when in the removal process, you can identify the conductors controlling the lights, connect those to the new fixture, safe off the unused conductors, with wire nuts, before closing the box.
 

Benaford

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Embarrassingly simple solution. Maybe I've been making this more complicated than I should have been. If I can isolate the wires I can just splice off a new circuit to wire the LED lights. That would solve my problem beautifully.
 

Snoonyb

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Embarrassingly simple solution. Maybe I've been making this more complicated than I should have been. If I can isolate the wires I can just splice off a new circuit to wire the LED lights. That would solve my problem beautifully.
So, from this response, I take it that there is more to the story, than originally stated.

So, is the new fixture in addition to the existing fan/light and your question is how can you control this new fixture from the existing switch box.
 

Benaford

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My goal is to install recessed LED lighting into my master bed room by the simplest means possible. Currently, the lighting for that room is provided by the light fixture mounted on the bottom of a ceiling fan in the middle of the room. If I can utilize that circuit to install the new lights, I'm happy with losing the light on the bottom of the fan. Don't like it anyway. I also have a third switch that isn't currently being used - I mentioned that in my original post just to give a full scope of all the options that are available to me right now. However, my objective remains to get the lights installed 1. SAFELY 2. SIMPLY 3. MOST COST EFFECTIVELY - anything inside those parameters works for me.
 

Snoonyb

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So, under the presumption, which could be erroneous, because it has not been, though asked, identified as a separate fixture, by you, the OP.

The existing fixture has a bezel trim adjacent tp the ceiling, that when loosened and removed, or dropped down, will reveal a wiring harness, and within this wiring harness will be the conductors from you switch box. The blue conductor connected to a black conductor, is probably the light fixture switch leg, which is, hopefully, within your scope of understanding, can be disconnected at that juncture, you then try the switch to ascertain if you venture was successful, and if it was, you have two options. You can use that existing ceiling box as a "J" box, unless you have overfill, so if you can measure and hourly describe the ceiling box, a link can be found that will afford you the determination of the boxes capacity.
 

Benaford

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I pulled the fan off the ceiling and did some tests by unhooking pairs of wires and isolating the fan circuit vs the light circuit. Here's the layout:
  • Black to Black - fan power
  • Red to Blue - light power
  • White to White - neutral
So, in order to 'steal' the power for a new series of LED lights, I'll need to take the red wire and use it as the hot wire for the new circuit and let the fan light be inoperable. Will this work?
 

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Snoonyb

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That would 1 of the options, however to use the existing ceiling box, as a "J" box, it's highly recommended that you first determine the "box fill" for that box.
 

Benaford

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Ok, I'll have to get the fan completely off of the box tomorrow to take a look at the box, but in the meantime, I'm reading everything I can on box fill calculations. Let's just run through the scenarios -

1. Box fill is not exceeded and I can add the additional wiring connection for my recessed lighting fixtures.
2. Box fill IS exceeded. Then what? Can I replace the junction box with one of higher box fill capacity?
 

Snoonyb

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1. Look here; Electrical Box Fill Calculations

2. Since they probably used 14/3 to conduct from the switches, evidenced by the black, red and white conductors, there are several possibilities.
Any attic "J" box must be located within 25' of the attic access.
You can remove the 14/3, or 12/3 conductors from the existing ceiling box and install them in a 4s "J" box, add 14/2 between the attic"J" and the existing ceiling box to power the fan, you also add another 14/2 to power the new light fixture.

The prescribe wiring method is to have 6"'s of free conductor protruding from an enclosure, for ease of assembly.

When determining box fill, any/all conductors designated as ground conductors, are counted as a single conductor, all of the other conductors are counted individually, because of their prescribed use.
 

mabloodhound

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Go back to your switch box and run a new wire (#14 g) up the wall for your new lights and add a 3rd switch. Leave the fan as is. You will have to pull the box out of the wall to grab the new wire but that is easily done and put back. Make sure the breaker is shut off when doing this.
 

Snoonyb

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Update... removed the ceiling fan and it looks like there is no j box at all. Just a piece of 2x6/8 nailed between the joists with A hole drilled through the middle for the wire to run through. Yikes. What do I do now?
Remove the 2x block and purchase a ceiling box specifically designed for ceiling fans, these boxes are also of a size sufficient to accommodate it's use as a "J" box where a 14/2 for the new fixture can be run from.
 

68bucks

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Are you sure that 3rd switch doesn't do anything? Might switch an outlet by a night stand or something. Seems very unlikely it doesn't do anything, I mean there are wires going to it.
 

ctviggen

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