Electrical Wiring for Basement Lights
How to Install Basement Electrical Wiring: Basement Lighting Plan, Wiring Basement Lights, Changing the Basement Lighting Layout, Basement Wiring for Recessed Lighting.© By: Dave Rongey
Wiring Basement Recessed Light Fixtures
Electrical Question: What is the process of basement electrical wiring?
Ray, a Handyman from Kansas asks:
- I am wiring my basement and I need you to review the project and let me know if I am doing it right.
- I installed ten recessed lights in my basement.
- I ran 14 gauge wiring from the lights to the switches to the breaker box using 20 amp breakers.
- The wires run from from the breaker box to the switches to the lighting.
- Is there anything I left out in between before I cover up the wiring with sheet rock?
Additional Comments: I LOVE THIS SITE! It’s helped me with so many electrical questions!
Michael in Minnesota asks:
- I’m finishing my basement and I have an outlet that’s controlled by a switch in the kitchen above. the switch in the kitchen is a double. One switch controls the flood lights outside and the other seems to only affect the outlet in the basement.
- I want the outlet to stay constant hot, and add 1 or 2 more outlets. Can I get rid of the switch and keep the outlet hot to build off of, or can I change the switch into an outlet and piggyback off it?
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions.
How to Install Basement Electrical Wiring
Application: Electrical Wiring for a Basement.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits, Extension Cords, and a Ladder as needed.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the basement wiring project and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the new wiring should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring in the basement should always be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Basement Electrical Wiring
- Permits and Inspections
Working with your local building department is essential. Obtaining a permit and having all the work inspected is very important as well.
- Please Note: If a room will be added that will be occupied, and the area serves as a bedroom, then additional electrical codes will apply, such as adding a smoke detector, AFCI protected outlets, lighting, etc..
Basement Electrical Wiring for Recessed Lighting
- Basement Lighting Plan
I really don’t know the full scope of these basement wiring projects, however I will urge you to check your project plan with your local building department who will go one step further and compare exactly what you are doing and insert any local code requirements, such as smoke detectors and GFI outlets for example.
More about Recessed lighting
- Wiring Basement Lights
The electrical wiring to be installed will depend on what you plan to do with the space of the basement. I can see right away that Bill has made a mistake by placing the 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit, when it should be on a 15 amp circuit, so be sure to correctly plan out the circuit wiring and keep the same wire size and type throughout the circuit.
More about Wiring Light Fixtures
- With Michael’s project, keep in mind that if there is a stairway leading to the basement then it must be illuminated, therefore if the switch in the kitchen controls a light as well as an outlet then the switch should remain in place. Consider installing a separate power source to the basement area that will be used for the basement lights and outlets.
- Considerations for the Basement Area
It’s a good idea to not close up the walls with sheet rock just yet until you get a total understanding of what is at stake here. Be careful not to get too rushed with your project which can cause you to overlook some very fundamental items.
More about Basement Electrical Wiring
- Changing the Basement Lighting Layout
Important: Homeowners and general contractors may become too focused on getting the job done, and while that is important, we need to make sure not to leave anything out.
More about Recessed Lighting Placement
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