Electrical and Lighting

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by scottg28, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. scottg28

    scottg28 New Member

    As part of my you can build a train agreement, I have to completely finish the basement and the majority of the framing is done. Now I need to decide how to wire the the 13 x 19 ft train room. My initial thought is to suppy the room with 2 - 20amp lines for outlets and lighting. Is that enough? what about the lighting, any suggestions on type or arrangement? Menards is selling these 500w halogen outdoor work lamps for $6 and bought 1 just to use in the basement during normal work and am extremely impressed by the lighting. I think I could modify 4 of these and light that room very nicely, the only problem is if you look into them you can't see for a few minutes.

    any suggestions or lessons learned by others greatly appreciated.
  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Them lights get very hot and if installed wrong could cause a fire. 2 -20 amp circuits would be OK, but I would put in 3 or 4. The extras are good for the fridge, tv, computer, and microwave. On lights there are many options and tradeoffs such as price v color v fading v .... I don't think there has ever been a consincious. FRED
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    I'll second what Fred said about the number of circuits. At 110 Volts you would be pulling 19 Amps on a 20 Amp circuit. Thats not enough margin for safety.

    Although they cost a bit more I think that you will be more satisfied with florescents with daylight tubes to accomplish the twofold purpose of lighting the layout and the room. The advantages are very little heat and a whole lot less current draw.

    Check out some of the photos on this board that our friend Shamus has posted. He uses those type florescents and WOW!!! do they look good!!!
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    With four of those 500 W lamps you could cook a turkey in your basement. :eek: :eek: Lots of light, even more heat. I agree with the rest, flourecent lighting is the best way to go, very efficent and cheap.

    Are you bringing two 20 amps circuits in or just two 20 amp outlets? I would think that two circuits would be enough, but you never have enough outlets. :rolleyes:
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think you should have the layout hooked up to a switched outlet, with the switch next to your exit. I have some lighting hooked up to the same switch so that I don't levae the layout turned on when I'm not there.
    Up here, we usually only use 15 amp circuits.
  6. Lightbender

    Lightbender Member

    Hello Scottg28,

    I had some 10 watt curly fluorescent screw-ins but have recently changed to the loop style reflectored floods and am very impressed. They take quite a few moments to come up to full intensity but they are very bright and barely get warm. Mine are 15 watt, a half dozen will illuminate your layout with a running cost of 1/20th of your suggested system. They aren't cheap but they do last a long time, although one of my curlies unexpectedly died after only 4 years.

    I have no incandescent bulbs in my house anymore.

  7. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Scott,
    For lighting I would suggest Daylight Fluorescent Tubes (Not Cool whites as these are not daylight types). Mine are Philips TL'D 58watt and I have them spaced at 18" intervals on my ceiling. Good for working on the railroad and photography later.
  8. scottg28

    scottg28 New Member

    thanks for all the replies,

    David - I like the idea of the switch on the power, I have to put in a light switch anyway.

    Don - I am bringing 2 circuits of 20 amp each and you sound like my Dad with the never have enough outlets advice.

    as for the lighting, it looks like flourescent of some, I hope to look at some of these this weekend

    again thanks for the input everyone
  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Ok - here's 22 years of experience.. :)

    The "Daylight Flourescents are the way to go!! :) Like Shamus says - You WILL want to take pics :) :) and Flour. Tubes save lots of money!! :) (I have 6 fixtures for my layout)

    Then Like David, A switch is really needed!! But, put the layout recepts on a Different switch... (2 switches side by side ).....caught on yet????... because sooner or later when you have all the buildings lit - you will want to take a night shot!! LOL

    Also look into a couple "Blue tinted" reflector flood lights - it makes night shots look great!!!!!!! Just like moonlight!!! :)

    Well sir... that's my 2 cents worth!! best of Luck!!!!!! :D
  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hate to be a downer but there may be some issues with doing the wiring yourself. Some jurisdictions require licensed electricians to do all electrical work. Your insurance company may also have some restrictions as well. Best to check this out before you start.

    Good luck!!

  11. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    i aggree with Val check you local code. i myself prefer indirect lighting .:)
  12. scottg28

    scottg28 New Member

    val and jim - this type of work requires permits, and the work has to be inspected 3 times minimum during the process, including a rough framing and electrical inspection. as far as who does it, as a homeowner I have two options, a liscensed electrician or the homeowner, and I think I am going with the homeowner as I have some experience here. thanks for the thought, as I know a few folks who didn't bother to check on things like this and paid for it later

  13. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Always thinking about a way to "have money change hands" aren't you Val???? :D :D :D Thanks for "watchin' me back" :) :) I was concentrating on the "Modeling end" and plum forgot about the Fire & insurance Electrical codes.

    ~~ thanks!!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Scott... I see by your last post that you already have it figured out - Best of Luck & post some progress pics too!!
  14. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Having done this myself...

    Most wiring and plumbing supplies are built like Lego..

    Everything is colour coded and made to snap together...

    Pick up a couple of how-to books and away you go...

    Check with your local building department to get a permit and some pointers.

    When I moved into my nearly 100 year old house, a condition of the house insurance and mortgage was that the old knob-and-tube style wiring be replace and upgraded to modern standards.

    The origional wiring for the house had a 30amp panel (Fuse box) and only 4 fuses. (Most electricians that I spoke to were suprised when I told them about the 30amp service. They had never heard of anything less than 60amp service....) {And one of the selling features of the house were the two window air conditioners that they were throwing into the deal!!! :eek: }

    The new panel is 100amps and has over a dozen 15 amp breakers. We don't have any heavy duty appliances...

    Fridge on a seperate breaker. (only allowed to have a clock plugged in with a fridge or freezer.)
    Upright freezer on a seperate breaker.
    Workshop on a seperate breaker.
    couple of split recepticles in the kitchen.
    Washing machine on a seperate breaker.
    No clothes dryer.
    Gas Stove/oven doesn't need a seperate circuit, but an electric stove and/or clothes dryer needs special wiring and breakers.

    Everything else is set up so that there are seperate "zones".
    Upstairs front
    Upstairs middle
    Upstairs back
    Halls and stairwell

    Well, that's 14 breakers that I can count off the top of my head...

    And each of those only have maximum 8 fixtures per circuit. Better safe than sorry....

    BTW each "fixture" is a light fixture or wall outlet. Switches don't count as a "fixture".

    Got a permit and did the work ourselves. Saved $$$$$. It all cost ~$500CAD for the whole house including the permit. Most of that on fancy light fixtures.

    A contractor that I talked to said that was at least $5000CAD cheaper than what he would have charged...

    Dad and I drilled holes, put in fixtures and pulled wires, while Ruby kept the Electrical Code book handy so we didn't overload a circuit box with too many wires.

    Circuit boxes are measured in cubic inches and you are allowed so many wires per cubic inch. "Pig tails" which are short bits of wire for joining all the ground wires together and/or short bits that attach a fixture to the power wires don't count and ground wires are not counted in the number of wires allowed inside of a box. All of this should be explained in the code book and in how-to books.

    15 amp circuits are usually standard unless you are running heavy duty appliances and tools. And there's usually a maximum number of fixtures per circuit. In Ontario the maximum is 12 fixtures, but in most cases you would have fewer.

    You also need to put outlets every 6 feet along a wall in new construction and use GFI's in damp locations. There are also rules regarding where to put light switches...

    The local electrical code will outline how many fixtures and of what type per circuit.

    A permit should include a couple of inspections by the local electrical utility to make sure that things are safe, and the documentation to satisfy your home insurance and mortgage companies...

    Small price for piece of mind and the comfort of knowing a job well done...
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    As a rule of thumb, this is just me, and it cost s just a little more, I feel it's safer to use:

    12 ga wire throughout (good for 20 Amps at a reasonable distance)

    20 amp rated fixtures, outlets, switches, etc.

    Then I use 20 Amp breakers on the outlets and 15 on ceiling lights.

    I have left some of the older wiring in place including it's 15 amp breaker, but I have thoroughlly inspected every fixture, junction, connection - each and every one. I trust no one to this but me. I ain't ascared a ghosts, but I don't wanna go down in flames!

    You should probably check the code, but a little common sense goes a long ways. Here you can do everything inside, from the breakers on. But you are still to follow currnet code. Older wiring is "grandfathered".

    Good way to spend some time with your dad too, wasn't it Ron? Got 'im back for some of those chores he made you do growin' up :D :D :D
  16. scottg28

    scottg28 New Member

    the code here require 20 amp breakers and 12 ga wire with all wiring in metal conduit. essentially the electrical inspection is to have all plates off junction boxes, fixtures, and switches so every connection may be checked, the rest is to be permanently in conduit. I have never worked with the conduit before, but everything in my house is in it (only 2 1/2 yrs. old). weekend after this my dad, uncle, and brother come to help for 2 days, so by then I hope to have most of the rough in work done.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Wow! Conduit for residential code? Hmmmm, the steel mills influence didn't have anything to do with that law I'm sure :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :D :D :D
  18. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    :) Yeah jon.. around here the "code" is in place because if someone happend to hammer a nail into a wall - or screw in a screw & hit the "hot" wire... the romex (soft) casing will allow the screw to go right through & make the screw or nail & the drill "hot" 120V Woah!!!!

    The MC (Metal Clad) wire, will most times, be pushed out of the way of the intruding screw/nail.. and not be shorted out. If you happen to cut through the casing and contact the hot wire it will cause an Immediate short & "pop" the breaker. :) :)

    Yes - I know, because it happened to one of our guys at work. He missed the stud "By That Much" & shot the nail right into the MC. ....... and all the lights went out. ROFL :eek: :D :eek: :D :eek: :D :eek:

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