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  • Feb 9, 2006, 05:24 PM
    How many lights on a 15A lighting circuit
    Hi everyone! First post and thanks in advance, hopefully!
    I was wondering how many lights I can put on a 15A lighting circuit. I have a second floor that I want to put a (1) hall light, (3) closet lights, & (1) bedroom light. Would it be too much to put a bathroom vanity light and a vent fan/light on the same circuit, and please, how do you know how to tell? Thank you very much!

  • Feb 9, 2006, 06:06 PM
    A 15 amp circuit can handle 1440 watts, or equal to 24-60 watt lamps. Add up the wattage and do not exceed 1440 watts and you will be fine. This is for non- residential installations, but is widely used as a good guide, because the 1440 is real the max a 15 amp circuit is allowed to be loaded.

    The code takes into consideration that it would be very unlikely most homeowners will not, and should not need to, worry about how much load is on a circuit.

    Residential lighting circuits are size according to the square foot, using 3 watts per square feet of livable space , so a 1200 Sq ft home has an estimated 3600 watts of general lighting load. Next 3600 / 120 volts = 30 amps. The home would be wired with at least 2-15 amp circuits.

    Most homes, unless the home is one of many in a sub division, will have more than the minimum of lighting circuits. Subdivisions are wired by the low bidder, and I guarantee wired to comply with minimum code.

    General lighting circuits also include all the lighting and receptacles in living rooms, bedrooms, dens, family rooms, etc. Does not include kitchen or appliance circuits.

    Sounds as if you adding livable space to the home, in which case this area will most likely require an additional lighing circuit. Also, the required bathroom outlet will need a 20 amp circuit.

    Hope this helps , get back with any more questions.
  • Feb 12, 2006, 12:24 PM
    Thank you for the insight! I guess what I was really trying to get at was if it was too much to add the bath fan/light to the circuit w/out overloading(?). It's a new home, real log cabin, pain in butt. Maybe I'd be better just to throw it on the bath's 20A circuit, eh?
  • Feb 12, 2006, 01:10 PM
    Considering the home is new, and log construction, I see no reason it cannot be added to the local lighting circuit. If this 20 amp circuit is for only this bathroom, then adding to the outlet circuit is OK also.

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