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Residential lighting about 20 amps #55324 08/26/05 04:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Charles Offline OP
Do residential light fixtures above 20 amps require two or more circuits?

Case in point, 2,000 lb crystal chandelier from Tsarist Russia, about nine feet long, same wide, rewired ages ago and in need of updates, 105 light bulbs at 25 watts each... That's 2,625 watts, 21 amps @ 125V and almost 22 amps @ 120V.

The chandelier is currently on three or four dimmer switches but the pattern is semi-random. There are eight lights around the perimeter, one in a beaded-crystal globe at the bottom and 96 interior bulbs.

Currently, I don't know how many circuits feed it.

What would you do if the chandelier could be totally rewired?

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Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55325 08/26/05 09:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,178
HotLine1 Offline
Welcome to the forum!
As your profile says you are in Canada, one of the Canadian Members will have to address the Code issue.

Personally, if I were to rewire/rebuild this chandelier, I would have a paper discussion with the owner as to how they would prefer it to light. The 96 bulbs @ 25 watts equates to 2400 watts; I would split it to 2 circuits if that was`OK with the owner. (ON 2K dimmers) THe balance could be on a 1K.

Based on your quantities, I would probably run two (2)20 amp circuits to feed the unit.

This could be a 'nice' rebuild job!!


Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55326 08/26/05 09:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Charles Offline OP
The chandelier itself is in a mansion in the United States. I have talked to the owner casually about work done on the mansion itself. The whole house is undergoing updates and refurbishing. I only ask about the chandelier because of my interest in electricity.

When I was there and viewed it, all the lights were at the same level. As I understand, the chandelier is always lit with all the bulbs at the same level. The multiple switches are only because of what was available when the chandelier was brought over from Russia and hung in the room.

For interest, the room also has eight other crystal chandeliers... One centered in each quarter of the room and one in each corner.

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55327 08/26/05 09:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Lighting circuits (USA) can be as large as 50 amps...with as many as 42 circuits in a panel. Here is Reno, we have several casino signs that have banks of panels within, just to serve all the little lights!
Likewise, once you're at the fixture, the conductors can be as small as #18; in some ways, this might be looked at as another "tap rule."

Though having a fixture served by two circuits isn't such a bad idea...right now, I am working on several such. A clever thing done by the guy who put them in is that each switch is a DPDT- so it looks like a regular switch, but actually contreol two separate circuits.

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55328 08/27/05 01:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Charles Offline OP
The double-pole switch does sound like a rather fitting application for fixtures not requiring dimming. Without going into theatre lighting systems, I've wondered the ideal way to refurbish this chandelier.

I know the rewire is long overdue because one perimeter light has not worked for years and some of the interior bulbs will light and then not light randomly when switched on or off.

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55329 08/27/05 02:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 74
Tom H Offline

Rewiring should not be a problem as others have stated.

As far as control, Lutron make a 3 circuit dimmer that you can control off of a simple $5 dimmer.

It is called a Hi Power dimming module. Here is the link for the PDF file [you need adobe acrobat reader to view] You would need the HP-4 version. It retails around for $850, but you should get it for less from a supplier that carries Lutron product. A good sales point is that it would give the customer one dimmer for the Whole fixture.

Hope this helps


Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55330 08/30/05 11:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 20
GovtVoltage Offline
This Problem is why I don't use Chandeliers like this in my mansion! I find my Butler Cadbury spends too much time relamping and cleaning the darn things!

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55331 08/30/05 01:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Charles Offline OP
Since the chandelier is on dimmers, the bulbs last longer... That is, if they don't exploded first due to the failing wiring.

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55332 08/30/05 04:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 21
sberry27 Offline
Reno, I havnt been out west but have been big signs like that, its cool to be able to walk inside them and can be a challenge to figure out what is what among doxens of ballasts especially when they have been reworked/repaired over the years. Sometimes they look so pretty on the outside but a big mess on the inside. I recall one I take 2 50 ton cranes, drop it to the ground for service, made way nore sense than hoisting men and mtls 80 ft in the air to rework it.

Re: Residential lighting about 20 amps #55333 08/31/05 04:08 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Victor Lighting in SF, CA can re-build it for you, unless you have a whole lot of free time. But it would take a few grand in shipping insurance, and freight.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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