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wiring recessed lights - need help

Posted by Troy10 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 23:26

Ok guys.. I'm going to try and explain this as best as I can. I'm remodeling the kitchen. I have torn down my ceiling to added recessed lights. OK.. original setup:

One kitchen light fixture in kitchen, looks to be all original wiring, house built in 1970's. Wires that run into the light fixture is one 14-2 wire (labeled feed on joist) and another 14-2 (labeled switch). The one 14-2 wire going on to the rest of the circuit.

What I would like to do:

remove the existing light fixture and put in 4 or 5 cans in it's place. I would like to run if off the same switch it's currently there, and keep the 14-2 wire that is going out to the rest of the circuit.
Current wiring setup is:
All whites nutted together. Black from switch nutted to black from light fixture. Black from feed nutted to black from wire going out to rest of circuit. And all grounds nutted together.

As a small test tried to wire two recessed lights up. One in the same location as the original fixture, and another a few feet away.

Ok.. here's where it gets interesting.. at least for me. I *thought* that the 14-2 marked feed carried the power, and the 14-2 marked switch, was just that.. a switch. However I have since learned that the switch is also carrying power. If I take a meter to the 14-2 marked feed, I get 120... and if I take a meter to 14-2 marked switch (with switch turned on of course) I get 120 from that as well.
I see examples where I could wire with 14-2 if power is going to the switch first, then to the rest of the lights. I also see examples where if power source is going to "light-1", then 14-3 wire in between the rest of the cans, then 14-2 back to the switch.
But it seems as though I have both examples combined.. power coming into the light-1 from the feed wire.. and power going into switch and then to the light when switch is turned on.
Can anybody possibly help me with this??


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: wiring recessed lights - need help

If I understand you correctly you are describing the splices made up in a box in the ceiling at the original light. If so, the black marked "feed" comes from the breaker panel and goes to the rest of the circuit (including the light switch box on the wall). When it leaves the switch box on the wall it comes back to the black for the light and turns it on. Keep these components separate, (blacks for feed/remainder of the circuit and blacks for switch/fixture(s)). To add more fixtures, connect the whites together at this location and use 14/2 to feed additional lights. At the additional lights connect the wires you're adding to the lights at the new locations. There should be a 14/2 going in, a 14/2 going out and leads from the fixture. You should use three wire nuts in each box and at the last box there will be no 14/2 going out.

If some of this reply makes no sense then ignore the entire post.


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RE: wiring recessed lights - need help

That's just it... the switch also has power coming into it as well.
If I ONLY connect the "feed" to the light, and leave the switch line disconnected.. the light will constantly stay on, as you'd expect.
And.. if I completely take the "feed" line out (disconnected) and just connect the light to the switch line ONLY.. the light acts as it should.. as in if you flip the switch on, the light will go on, if you flip switch off, the light will go off.


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