Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

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Artman
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Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

Post by Artman » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:55 pm

Hi,
I have read through multiple posts, but am not seeing the answer to what I want to do.

Basically, what I want to do is add a light switch to an existing circuit to control only a few of the existing lights.

My basement has 9 lights on the same circuit. 7 are pull chain. 2 are on 2-way switches at the top and bottom of the stairwell.
This is a diagram of the layout of the lights.
basement pullchain lights.jpg
basement pullchain lights.jpg (33.83 KiB) Viewed 110 times

Code for our area is 1/2" EMT, so there is no ground in my diagram.

I would like two outcomes.
1) I want to add one more overhead lightbox. That I can handle easy enough
2) I want to put 3 of the existing pull chain lights and the new light on a switch. (The new switch will go in the same box as the stairwell light switch.)

Power for my current circuit comes from the main panel into the first light.
The builder wired this circuit using red for hot and white for neutral. The two switched lights on the stairwell deviate from this with yellow going to the lights and orange between the two switches.

All the solutions or diagrams I see that are close to what I want to do talk about using the white wire as hot and marking it with black tape to indicate this. The builder of my house did not do this. He ran different colored wires. For example, the ceiling fan light and fan in my family room are on separate switches with the light wired in black for hot, while the fan itself uses purple.

I am thinking I need to run a new wire between the new switch and the lights I want to control. And then somehow bypass those lights with wire so the rest of the lights still work.

One light I can handle. But 3 with one branching off is just confusing me.

Appreciate the help.

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Aaron
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Re: Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:10 am

Okay, so I assume that the wiring topology is exactly how you diagrammed it? You have the right idea with the need to pull some new conductors. We can ignore all the lights unaffected by this alteration, including the 3-way lighting circuit. The only modifications you are making in the circuit are to those lights being changed so they will now be controlled by a wall switch. The new conductor you are running is a switched-hot, rather than the constant-hot that the red conductor is.

First you need to decide where the wall switch is going to be and which light in your diagram it will connect to. It can actually be anywhere, but I suggest 1, 2, 3, or new. That new switched-hot conductor, let's use the color black, will connect to the red in that first light you choose to connect to the switch. That same red will also connect to the red that continues on to the lights downstream.

You'll fish two blacks down the EMT to the new switch, one to supply power you've tapped from the red and the other to supply switched power back to the lights you want controlled by the wall switch. Then you just run new conductors to those lights to be controlled by the wall switch. Disconnect the red on those lights and use the new black conductor. Just connect the reds together in those boxes so the constant power can go through that lights to lights 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Hope this makes sense.

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emtnut
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Re: Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

Post by emtnut » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:16 am

First, for the new switch. What you read about taping the white wire, is for a switch loop.

Since you have conduit, you can still do this (in case you put a device that needs a neutral some day)
You can run any color you wish, but if one of the 2 new wires you run is a white wire, it needs to be taped or marked black.

So, at box 1, you want to tap into the hot wire. Also, disconnect the hot wire that feeds lights 3, 4, and 5.
Run a new wire from the hot wire from box 1 to the new switch, and bring the other side of the switch back to box 1. Connect this switched wire to the feed to lights 3 4 5 and the new light.

Edit ... I see Aaron and I were typing at the same time :lol:
Last edited by emtnut on Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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Aaron
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Re: Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:18 am

I just read your post again and noticed you want the new switch to be in an existing stairwell switch box. So I'm assuming that you can fish conductor through the EMT of that existing box back to light 6?

The principle is the same as I described above, you may just need to pull a longer distance of the new switched-hot conductor.

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Aaron
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Re: Putting Multiple Pull Chain Lights on New Light Switch

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:50 am

If the switch box you are planning on converting from single-gang to double-gang is at the foot of the stairwell in the basement, it may actually make more sense to run EMT to that new double-gang box to the closest light in the series that you want to be switched (Light 2?).

(Instead of fishing wire all the way back up the stairs and through light 6.)

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