Converting Two Recessed Lights on a Single Switched Leg

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by coldsolderjoint, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. coldsolderjoint

    coldsolderjoint New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Keansburg, NJ
    I've fallen into the unlucky situation of "wife wants to add stuff" to the project after I have finished the Sheetrock and Painted again.

    I'm finishing up the bedroom, and want to convert two recessed lights.

    I want to convert one of them into a ceiling fan, and the other into a small chandelier.

    Have you guys run into this situation before?

    I was planning on removing the switch, and making this leg "always on".

    For the fan, I would then just use a wireless controller.

    The light is the issue now.

    Here are some things I thought of:

    1. A second fan controller and just use the light button. Downside is that we will have two remotes, and one will have unusable buttons.

    is there a mythical remote that can operate more than one fan receiver?

    2. Something like a wireless light socket: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Heath-Ze...38-WH/100654953?keyword=wireless light socket

    I'm sure it would work at first, but I have a feeling it is not right to bury these things in a junction box or the old can light, and depending on what light fixture my wife wants, might be pushing the power rating.

    3. Z wave, x10, or insteon stuff - Expensive and I'm not really looking for a whole system, its just one light. and i'd like to keep it simple for the next owner when we decide to sell.

    4. Some sort of weird/bad looking swag light. however, there is an outlet behind the door, and a "Remote" switch like this.. might work.. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Westek-Wall-Mounted-Switch-and-Plug-In-Receiver-RFK100LC/100644834

    5. Do not want to undo sheetrock work and fish wires if I can avoid it at any cost.

    6. on the off chance that the location of the proposed ceiling fan is wired first in series, i could tie the two lights together. But I have a feeling this is the unlikely wiring scenario, I didn't pull the cans down yet, and even at that.. I might be pushing the power rating of the receiver.

    So if you have any more ideas, please throw them at me.

    Thanks in advance. bedroom.jpg
  2. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    Bite the bullet and pull some new wires. Drywall is not as hard to patch now as it will be a year from now.

    I thought I should re-pull another switch leg to a light in my kitchen. I didn't because I had already painted. If I had gone ahead and done it I would be happy right now. Instead there is not a week goes by when I don't regret my decision since now the kitchen is full of all our kitchen stuff. At the time I should have done it the only thing stopping me was the fact that I had already painted.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Those two lights should be connected together at one of the locations. Install an "independent" fan light controller, (I used a Hunter unit), at that point. Hook the fan to the 'fan' wires and the light to the "light" side. I did that in three of my bedroms. If the wires for the two lights come from the switch box independently, then the Hunter controller will fit in the box after you remove the switch.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  4. coldsolderjoint

    coldsolderjoint New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Keansburg, NJ
    Thanks Guys.

    HJ, that's what I was referring to in #6 above, but I didn't explain it well enough. There is only one wire going up the wall from the switch, so they should be connected at one of the cans. I wanted to have independent control of the light fixture and the light on the fan.

    I found this which may be the perfect solution, although a bit pricey: http://www.adhocelectronics.com/Basic-Wireless-Light-Switch-Kit?sc=2

    I might be willing to pay that to avoid the Sheetrock work. My wife is getting annoyed at having to sleep in the living room while I work in here.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    What I am referring to has NOTHING to do with where the fan is located, just where the two wires come together. In my case, I have the "controller" inside the box where the switch was since the fan and light wires began there. The remote control operates the fan and/or the lights, (and dims them also).
  6. PatrickH

    PatrickH New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Virginia
    Wow! I really hate remote controls for ceiling fans. Maybe, I've just had bad experiences with them. You could mount a stem mounted ceiling fan with pull chains, and leave the wiring as is. Does the switch have two white wires connected with a wire nut, and two black wires broken at the switch?
    Need to ensure the Mrs isn't expecting a dimmer for the chandelier. If not then you're stuck with cutting holes or depending on "new technology" :). Always works as advertised! Is there an outlet under the ceiling fan that lines up with the ceiling joists? Or is there a closet that backs up to the same area where you might be able to pull a feed for the fan? You'd need a hole or two.

    Does the switch have two white wires connected with a wire nut, and two black wires broken at the switch?
  7. PatrickH

    PatrickH New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Virginia
    Wow! I really hate remote controls for ceiling fans. Maybe, I've just had bad experiences with them. You could mount a stem mounted ceiling fan with pull chains, and leave the wiring as is. Does the switch have two white wires connected with a wire nut, and two black wires broken at the switch?
    Need to ensure the Mrs isn't expecting a dimmer for the chandelier. If not then you're stuck with cutting holes or depending on "new technology" :). Always works as advertised! Is there an outlet under the ceiling fan that lines up with the ceiling joists? Or is there a closet that backs up to the same area where you might be able to pull a feed for the fan? You'd need a hole or two.

    Does the switch have two white wires connected with a wire nut, and two black wires broken at the switch?
  8. coldsolderjoint

    coldsolderjoint New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Keansburg, NJ
    Hey Patrick. Yeah.. I can get a new wire up there if I cut open the drywall. I had considered the pull chains but that is a 12 foot ceiling at the high end so it would be a long chain, and because it's the tall wall.. There is the "top plate" at 8 feet, so unless I go with that on wall wire track.. Which I don't think looks any good.. The low tech way is cutting the drywall.. But u know how women are.. I'm not even done with the trim.. And she's already buying new bed sheets. So I doubt she is going to like anymore drywall dust. I want to just use a swag chain.. But she doesn't like that idea.. So it looks like I'm going to order one of those $150 wireless switch boxes.

    Those two lights are connected together at one of the fixtures like hj said. I actually installed that switch a few months ago. That doorway wasn't there. That far wall in the picture is a non load bearing wall I built with a pocket door to create a walk in closet. No idea why it wasn't done like that in the first place. It's a narrow long room. So to us, this is the only arrangement that make sense. My guess is the previous owner was running out of money and time and just wanted to add square footage. It would have been almost the same cost either way in terms of wood and Sheetrock.
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