Recessed Light 1 to 6?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by coopns, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. coopns

    coopns New Member

    Sep 25, 2006
    Just moved in...

    1. Kitchen has one light in the middle of the room. I would like to add 6 recessed lights to the ceiling. Can I use that wire to the original light with a couple of junction boxes to connect all the lights? How many junction boxes should be used?

    2. Can that wire handle all the power from that original light? So it has 1 light and I will now have 6, is that ok?

    Please advise, recommendations.
  2. mc_1_2_3

    mc_1_2_3 New Member

    May 22, 2008
    Biomedical Equipment Technician
    Western Pennsylvania
    You first need to determine how many other fixtures are on the circuit. This can be done by turning on all the lights and turning off the breaker for that one kitchen light. See what else turns off. You should also check all outlets in that area. Many times, folks will put lights on with receptacles, not really a good practice. You also are limited by the size of the wire, 15 amps if it is 14 gauge, 20 amp if it is 12 gauge. It is probably 14 gauge for lighting.

    Starting off with a question like this, I would recommend you call an electrician and have it done safely and correctly.

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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Short answer, probably.

    You don't want to overload the circuit breaker. If the CB only supplies lights, it's fairly wasy to see how much is on it now...add up the watts from all of the lamps. watts/volts=amps. If the breaker is 15A, and the supply is nominally 120vac, that's 15x120 or 1800W.

    You probably don't need junction boxes...the fixture can serve as a junction so you can daisy-chain from one to the next in parallel (not series! - if you don't know the difference, get it done by someone who does). There are limits on how many wires can be in a junction, so it might depend on the fixture you are should state either how big a volume there is for wires, or list how many it is rated for.
  5. coopns

    coopns New Member

    Sep 25, 2006
    Good, thanks for the info.

    And for just changing one light fixture for a recessed, is that fairly straightforward?
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    The standard fixture will be hanging from a junction box that is flush with the ceiling. That will have to be removed and replaced with the recessed fixture. There may not be enough wire to reach the connection/junction point on the recessed fixture.

    Check the article at the link.

    Note that it says up front; Skill level: Advanced

    If there is no access from the top it could get tricky and you must make any connections in a junction box that is accessible after all of the finishes are installed.

    It will be easy enough if you are installing a new ceiling, or if you have access above, as from an attic. If there is a floor above and ceiling below you will have difficulty and may need someone with the tricks and tools to do the work in limited space.
  7. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    There is a problem with heat build-up with ceiling and especially recessed fixtures. Heat goes up. There is a fire danger if a bulb larger that specified is used or if insulation is covering the fixture in the attic. The heat needs to vent.

    The insulation on old romex wiring can crack and fall off from too much heat, so best to place a junction box away from the fixture and install new wiring to the fixture if your old wiring is not what is specified in the installation instructions. Basically follow the instructions per wire type and insulation around the fixture.

    Here is an example of installation instructions which specify 90 degree C. rated wire and and says you may or may not have insulation near the fixture based on specific model (bulb used)... new.pdf
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