DIY Doctor

Adding Second Light Fixture to Loft Lights

Postby Matteo » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:56 am

Dear DIYers,

It's been a few years since my last post, but since then all the DIY I've needed to do has been within my own limits so I've not needed your excellent help. However, I would like some simple advice on the following.

I have a single switch in the landing that operates a single light in the attic. I would like to add a second light - so that the switch operates both lights.

Presumably, I can "split" the cable and add a new length of cable (using a junction box?) with one length (re)connected to the existing light, and the other to the new, second light?

Or can I run a new length of cable from the existing light to the second light?

Additionally, it would be nice to add a third light (at the far end of the attic) which would be controlled by a switch in the attic - not the switch in the landing. Could I simply use the same method as above, with the cable running to the switch (and then a cable running from the switch to the light)?

So, now: switch >> light.

New: switch >> light >> light.

New (maybe): switch >> light >> light >> light with a switch.

If it helps, I can explain why I want to do this, but perhaps this is not needed. Many thanks for any help.
Matteo
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Postby Mr White » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:42 pm

You can add a 2nd light by adding a cable to the first light and connecting them in parallel.
As for the 3rd light controlled by an Independent switch, you would have to supply it from else where, since the new 2nd light is controlled from elsewhere.
But as you are in the loft can you access the lighting cables of the rooms below?
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Postby Matteo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:55 am

Thank you Mr White.

So I just need to add the new cable by connecting the live wire into the existing light at the same connection point as the live wire of the existing cable (and the same for the neutral)? So the existing light will then have two live going into the live connection, and two neutral into the neutral connection?

As for your comment re. the third light, I'm not sure what you mean. Just going by memory (I'm not at home right now) I [i]think[/i] there are some cables for the rooms below that run from the switches to the ceiling lights. But if I connect to those, wouldn't the 3rd light (or switch) only work if the switch in the room below was on?
Matteo
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Postby Mr White » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:15 pm

If you cut the wrong cable you will be in trouble, sometimes it is best to stand back and admit you do not know what you are trying to do. This is one of those times.

Get a competent person in to do the job safely for you.
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Postby Matteo » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:56 pm

Hmm...I think you might be right - good advice.
Matteo
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