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  1. #11
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by RISurfer View Post
    I have 4 lights in the basement connected to one circuit. They are pull chains all on one wire. I want to control one side of lights (2 lights on left and 2 on right) with two seperate switches. One switch to control the right and one switch to control the left lights.

    The diagram provided can achieve this correct? Or do I need to run wire from the receptacles to two different switches to control the right vs. left lights and therefore box up the original circuit running in the ceiling.
    Thanks for the help.
    It's common around here to find the power was fed to basement lights from a receptacle in an upstairs room --- typically would be at the end of those circuits. This would be evident by the cable suppling the power coming from above to the light fixture box.

    Personally --- I usually route power from the service panel to the basement lights since the panel is usually located in the basement and reduces the draw on the circuit upstairs.


    If you decide to go this route and is the way mentioned above --- you will need to disconnect the cable that feeds the lights from an upstairs circuit. Find the source receptacle and shut the power off.

    Disconnect the conductors from both the source receptacle and the light fixture ---- twist the white and black together cap with a wire nut --- wrap electrical tape around them --- done this way at both ends of the cable.


    Or --- cut the conductors that feed the basement lights flush inside the upstairs receptacle box --- cut the whole cable in the basement flush with the flooring above.



    Since you have receptacles already in the basement it would be simple and easy to cable a supply from a receptacle to the switch --- a 14/2 from the switch to light 1 -- 14/2 from light 1 to light 2
    .
    Disconnect the cable from 2-3

    The same applies to the other two lights.
    Supply to the switch --- 14/2 from the switch to light 4 --- 14/2 between 3 & 4



    I like to have the light circuit seperate from receptacles . This way if a device plugged into a recetacle trips the breaker it doesn't affect the lights ---- you're not roaming in the dark trying to get to the service panel.

    This way will require a breaker to added to the service panel and a cable run.
    It could be wired as Jack's diagram shows --- just make sure the first box is large enough to accomodate eight conductors.


    The choice is yours.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  2. #12
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by RISurfer View Post
    McDaniel thanks for the help and diagrams.

    I am a little confused. Can I keep the existing 2 wire in the ceiling?

    I figured I could run the power to the 1st fixture and the 2 wire to the 2nd fixture(existing wire). I would add a 3 wire to a switch from the 1st and 2nd fixture. Run the 2 wire to the 3rd and 4th fixture (existing wire). Then add another 3 wire to another switch from the 3rd and 4th fixture. Done?

    The only additions would be adding a 3 wire betwen the fixtures and from the fixtures to switches? Can I use the current wires?

    Thanks for your help!
    You got me a little confused.

    Depending which route you go --- the existing wiring will stay --- exception would be removing the cable between 2 & 3.

    There's no need for 14/3 to be used.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #13
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    The basement lights are connected straight to one circuit coming directly out of the service panel.

    I am just confused as to which way this should be completed. Either having the power directly to the light fixture adding a switch between light fixtures 1 and 2 and another switch between 3 and 4 and keep the current 14/2 wire original setup. So in other words I am confused if I can keep this setup and just add a switch to light fixtures 1 and 2 and another switch to light fixtures 3 and 4 keeping the original setup just adding a switch to each sets of lights.

    If I do go through the receptacles I would have to box in the old wire since there is a smoke alarm attached to the end of the ceiling wire run.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    attached is my set up. Sorry its sloppy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #15
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    With this diagram you use all the existing cables except the one from light 2 to light 3. You then install new 2 conductor cable from light 1 to light 4 and new 2 conductor cable from light 1 to switch one and new 2 cond cable from light 4 to switch 2.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #16
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by RISurfer View Post
    The basement lights are connected straight to one circuit coming directly out of the service panel.

    I am just confused as to which way this should be completed. Either having the power directly to the light fixture adding a switch between light fixtures 1 and 2 and another switch between 3 and 4 and keep the current 14/2 wire original setup. So in other words I am confused if I can keep this setup and just add a switch to light fixtures 1 and 2 and another switch to light fixtures 3 and 4 keeping the original setup just adding a switch to each sets of lights.

    If I do go through the receptacles I would have to box in the old wire since there is a smoke alarm attached to the end of the ceiling wire run.
    No offence -- but -- to be honest--- if you were savy with electrical you would be able to understand what to do --- even if the information we've supplied you is confusing .

    You currently have 4 lights on one circuit ---- you want to control 2 pairs of lights with a switch contolling each pair.
    Disconnect the 2 pairs from each other --- supply constant power to the switches and switched power to the lights to be controlled .
    Diagrams and information have been provided --- not much more can be offered except --- if you are unsure what you are doing with electrical then call in an electrician.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #17
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    Canuk

    You are right. I have little knowledge of electricity. I have performed the basic type of electrical jobs in my home. Called an electrician and was quoted $700 for the job. Price seems to be quite high. I was gaining info to see if I could complete the job. Thanks for the info.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    I agree with you --- trying to research things to educate yourself is a good thing --- you have to know your limit. If it becomes difficult to comprehend or you don't have the skill set to do electrical then it really should be done by someone that does. Otherwise it may become dangerous causing serious injury to people and/or damage to propery.
    Unlike tiling a backsplash --- if it doesn't turn out properly --- it just may not look nice.

    I think for just the lights --- $700 is a steep price even if though a permit would be required.
    Last edited by canuk; 04-26-2010 at 06:45 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #19
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    RISurfer --- here's a suggestion based on your diagram and assuming the unlabeled item is the service panel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #20
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    Default Re: How to Install switch to operate two lights.

    I'm a little concerned also.

    You first ask "How to Install switch to operate two lights." You then added additional lights, and additional switch, and then again later a smoke detector and a $700 bid from an electrician.

    Are you omitting additional information such as receptacles also on the line? If you provide complete details it would be much easier for us to provide the pertinent information you need and if neccessary more detailed instructions or step by step instructions if needed.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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