Light Switch wired to receptacle. Can I use to add recessed lights?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Deats, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Deats

    Deats New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hi,

    I'm looking to add recessed lights to my bedrooms. I have access to the ceilings from the walk in attic. Each room already has a light switch that's wired to a single receptacle in the room for a lamp. I'm looking to use the existing light switch but run Romex up to the attic to power a few LED recessed lights in each room. Is this possible and is it the right way to do this?

    Thank you,
    Pete
     
  2. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    You can but first you have to check the wall box at the switch to see if a neutral and ground wires are in the switch wall box if not the you can come from the receptacle wall box and pull your wire to the attic.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida USCG escorting cruise ship leaving Port Everglades

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I did what your looking to do. The wall switch goes to a receptacle satisfy the code so when entering a dark room a wall switch can turn on a lamp. Most likely the power is in the wall switch box anyway. At the wall switch disconnect the wire (most likely black but it could be red) to the outlet. Cut the bare copper to the insulation and cap it off with a wing nut. At the outlet also remove the hot wire and cap it off and replace the outlet without the side strap or jumper cut or add a jumper wire between the two brass color screws.

    As far as recessed lighting be sure to get the proper cans to meet your attic space. Usually for old work and are able to be in contact with insulation. LED lamps in six recessed lights (as an example) uses less than 60 watts of total power. Each LED flood lamp were equivalent to one incandescent 65 watt flood light. I had a bedroom that measured appox. 13 x 17 and I installed six cans. It was just the right amount of light.

    You want to use MC (armored) cables. Since it will not be possible to anchor the wire to studs in walls and with an insulated attic it may not be possible to properly properly protect romex. MC cables can be just laid down. They are made of aluminum with copper wire so they're easy to cut. You'll have to look at the circuit breaker amp rating. If it is a 20 amp you must use 12 gauge. You cannot use 14 gauge.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida USCG escorting cruise ship leaving Port Everglades

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Let me add, with armored cable you MUST have a ground (bare copper or a GRN wire at the wall switch). With all that metal both the cable and recessed cans you'll never want to be possible should a hot wire contact the metal without a ground. If no ground and all that metal is electrified, the breaker may not trip.
     
  6. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Occupation:
    Electrical Contractor
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    No need to use MC unless it is required in his area.
    NM can be fished down a wall without being stapled.
     
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