Residential Wiring - The Right Way!
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Multiple Fixture Wiring
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Adding additional light fixtures to an existing switch / light circuit?
DO NOT WIRE IN SERIES...
This is an absolute no no, never wire light fixtures in this manner.
Some Christmas tree light sets may be wired in this fashion, but never use this style of wiring for home light fixtures. First you would have dim lighting as voltage drops would occur across each lighting fixture, 2nd as in the old style Christmas tree lighting one light that burns out all go will go out, 3rd it would be a major code violation as well as a safety issue.
The correct way to wire multiple fixtures controlled by the same switch circuit...
Starting with the actual wires connected to the 1st fixture, join the onward cable by insulated wire nuts to the next fixture as depicted in the picture above. The black wire is the switched ungrounded conductor (hot) and gets connected to the ungrounded conductor [hot] of the fixture itself (if screw connectors it would connect to the brass color screw); the white wire is the grounded conductor (neutral) and connects at each fixture to the grounded conductor [neutral] (if screw connectors it would connect to the silver color screw).
There is also an equipment grounding conductor not shown in the picture, that would be the bare wire in the wire cable (green wires are also equipment grounding conductors), all equipment grounding conductors are joined together at each fixture box as well as any grounding screw or grounding wire at the fixture itself, and to the electrical box itself if metallic or has a metal strip within the box with grounding screws.
If you are using a dimmer make certain that the max current / wattage rating of the dimmer exceeds the combine current / wattage requirements of all fixtures on that same switch circuit. Also regular dimmers are only to be used with incandescent lighting.
By: Donald Kerr
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