Calculate Electrical Circuits for Lights and Outlets
Can I use a 12 gauge wire for 7 outlets and 12 lights…
Electrical Question from Beata about Wiring Lights and Outlets
Background: Beata, a Homeowner from Exton, PA
Question: Can I use a 12 gauge wire for 7 outlets and 12 lights?
Thanks for your electrical question Beata. That depends on how many watts will be required for each lightÂ fixture, and it depends on the type of room where the outlets will be installed. However, I would install one circuit for the outlets and a second circuit for the lights. 12 gauge wire is rated for 20 amps or 2400 watts maximum.
Make a list ofÂ how many light fixtures, the number of bulbs and the watts for each bulb.
Calculate this to determine the load of the proposed circuit:
Watts X Bulbs X Number of Light Fixtures = Total Watts or the Load being placed on the circuit.
Total Watts / Voltage (120) = Required Circuit Amperage
The required wire size will be determined by the required circuit amperage and circuit breaker size.
The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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