Adding a light to a bathroom vent fan circuit

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by GaetanoL, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. GaetanoL

    GaetanoL New Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Lower Hudson Valley, NY
    I want to a light fixture so it comes on when the bathroom vent fan comes on?

    Here's the background:

    As part of my basement finishing, I had an electrician come in and wire the bathroom (done to code and passed inspection). My ceilings are still open and my wife decided she wanted an extra light in the bathroom after the fan was installed. So, I'd like to add a light fixture and I'd like to tackle this add-on myself if I can.

    My plan is to add a recessed light in the same joist where the fan is mounted. I want to use the existing switch (the one that currently controls the fan) so that the fan and recessed light come on and off at the same time. That will be the only switch controlling these fixtures.

    I currently have a 12/2 running from the wall switch up to my ceiling. That wire currently serves the fan. I want to run that 12/2 to the light housing instead (since there's more room to make the required connections in there than in the fan). I will then run another segment of 12/2 from the light to the fan.

    So, in the light fixture I will connect the 12/2 from the wall switch, the light wires, and the 12/2 that goes from the light to the fan (whites to whites, blacks to blacks, and properly grounded).

    Then I'll connect the fan wires to the 12/2 that goes from the light to the fan (again, white to white, blacks to blacks, and properly grounded)

    Does this sound correct?
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Yes it does. Make sure that you staple your wire down 6" from each fixture and every 12-15" on the runs. Also making sure that you have the available draw on that circuit to run safely. It is likely that you do but worth checking.

    Good Luck

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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Maybe, maybe not. If there is only one cable at the switch, the black would be on one terminal of the switch and the white on the other. This means that power is going through the fan's box to the switch. To add a lamp, you should be able to just run a cable from the fan's black/white/ground to the lamp.

    If there are two cables in the switch's box, then the neutral and ground are connected there.

    It depends on where the power originates to that circuit where you need to tap in.
  5. GaetanoL

    GaetanoL New Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Lower Hudson Valley, NY
    Basically, there are two 12/2 wires at the switch. The whites connect together and the blacks connect to either side of the switch.
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