First thing first- is adding lights and outlets on the same circuit alright. Is it genuinely possible? Won’t it cause an accident? Yes, it’s possible and no, there won’t be unwanted accidents!
But what about the number of outlets! How many lights will work with it? A technical glitch and boom- that’s what working with electricity feels like! So, to avoid accidents, learn how many lights and outlets on a 15-amp circuit can be added! We have it all figured out!
Number of Lights and Outlets on a 15 amp Circuit
Well, if you have researched the 15 amp circuit properly, you will easily understand that there is no limit! Yes, there’s no limit when it comes to the lights and outlets that can be added to the 15-amp circuit.
But not to forget, you have to be careful about the circuit’s rating too. If you exceed the circuit rating, there can be difficulties. On the other hand, not only the rating is necessary but the load is too! If you go for more than 80% of the maximum load capacity of the circuit, you are going to make it too difficult to handle.
Things are not as easy as power strips you buy from markets! If you ask us- how many things can you plug into a power strip, we can easily recommend you to go from 6 outlets to 8 outlets. Well, you can look at a power strip and decide it! But in the case of 15-amp circuit outlets and lights, it can be a little difficult to explain.
Let’s not answer in numbers of outlets and lights. Instead, we will talk about the regulations along with the rating and load capacity of your 15-amp circuit.
1. Load Capacity of the 15-amp Circuit
In the case of going for the 15-amp circuit or any other circuit, you have to go through the ratings of the receptacles that you are planning to attach to it. Here, keep in mind that the ratings of the receptacles have related to the rating of the circuit.
With the help of comparing both of these, you can easily understand that how many receptacles the 15-amp circuit is capable of accommodating. As we are dealing with the 15-amp circuit here, it’s pretty normal that you are adding 1.5 amps to the average outlet or the light.
We all do a common mistake. We technically calculate that for the 15-amp circuit with, you can add more or less 10 outlets or lights. But, in this case, this isn’t what you should do! If you think that the outlets are not filling up your requirements, extend the outlets. Take a look at the ideal power strips with USB in the market!
2. Regulations of the 15-amp Circuit
We have talked about the load capacity already. And now, we will talk about the regulation here. No matter which region you reside in, there will be a specific electrical code. The contractors usually follow this electrical code.
Whenever they require working with any electrical installation, they have to check out the electrical code. If you are hiring a contractor, he already knows the method. However, you also have to certify that the contractor is meeting the demands according to the law. If he fails to follow this, you will need to pay fines for this. Also, there can be other grave penalties.
· The NEC Regulation
The best thing you can do is to go through the National Electrical Code first. Along with this, take a look at the local code too. And then, you are free to proceed. To learn about the National Electrical Code, you can check online.
Yes, NEC is not mandated by the Federal Government. But some specific states will follow the NEC guidelines. The reason behind this is to ensure that the state is taking a more standardized approach for implementing the electrical practices inside.
· The Local Regulation
On the other hand, the state is also allowed to set its codes. At times, the code might not meet the requirements of NEC. So, after you have checked the NEC, check the local code. If you see that the local code is different, you have to follow the local codes.
However, if you are planning to see how many outlets and lights you can add to your 15-amp circuit and you want to see the NEC guidelines, let us tell you that you won’t find any. Yes, NEC has no specific recommendation regarding the number of outlets and lights you can add to a circuit.
As a result, you are almost free to add lights and outlets according to your requirement. In this case, verify that you are following the local authorities and their laws. For the states, the local authorities and the laws hold the power.
3. Ratings of the 15-amp Circuit
Now that we are done with the load capacity and the regulation, we will talk about the rating you have to be careful of when it comes to adding lights to the 15-amp circuit. If you go through the NEC guidelines, you will see nothing related to the numbers of outlets you can settle for the 15-amp circuit.
But yes, you have to be careful about the regulation in this case. This works for specific areas. The NEC has requirements that the contractors will count only 80% of the rating of the circuit. According to SFGate, this is the requirement regarding the rating.
On the other hand, for people that are planning to add a circuit breaker here, you should be careful. You are not allowed to do so if you are crossing the limit. Forcing a circuit breaker for carrying more than 80% of the rated load is not allowed. If you are dealing with home theater and you want safe electricity, you require protection. And for more protection, you can check out the best surge protectors for home theater here!
As we are dealing with the 15-amp circuit, you must know the count you can settle for. In this case, you can go for 12-amps at best. If you have an idea about these details, you probably have got out point.
However, if you are a newbie, let’s open this book. We have already said that you can count 12-amps at best if you have a 15-amp circuit. It means that if you have a 15-amp circuit, it will be compatible with 8 lights and outlets. This is the maximum number of lights and outlets that you can use in this process.
· Why can’t we go higher?
Well, most people ask that why the percentage is 80 when we can go for 100? Why can we only count 12-amps in the case of 15-amps? Why nor more? Yes, you can simply plan on going higher but there are technical reasons for this limit.
As it’s the electricity we are working with, we have to keep in mind that there can be a temporary surge anytime! Yes, wall mount surge protectors can always help you. But, we often use powerful devices that can require a lot of power.
And eventually, this can result in a temporary surge. To avoid that temporary surge, there should be room for the circuit to handle it!
By simply settling for 80% instead of 100% is for providing that 20% free room for the circuit to avoid accidents and make the process safer. To safeguard the devices and ensure an uninterrupted power source, you can also go for the right ups surge protector!
FAQs on Outlets and Lights on 15-amp Circuit
1. How many appliances can I use on a 15-amp circuit?
We have already told you that you are free to add as many lights and outlets as you like with your 15-amp circuit. But don’t forget to limit the number of devices that you are plugging into the outlets. Keep in mind that when you add a device, only then the electricity will flow. Otherwise, adding outlets is just ornamenting. If you add a lot of outlets and don’t plug any appliances, you are safe to go. So, while plugging in, try to limit the number of appliances.
2. Can I run a refrigerator on a 15-amp circuit?
We always recommend you to run your refrigerator in the right circuit that’s suggested for it. These devices usually run between 3-amps to 6-amps. So, there’s always a chance that your freezer or fridge might spike at peak usage up and that can go higher than 15-amp. According to our advice, you must run your refrigerator on the 15-amps to 20-amps dedicated circuit of 120 volts.
3. How many lights can be on the same circuit?
We have described it enough above. If it’s just a number you want, well, we have it! In technical terms, you can easily install 30 lights on your 15-amp breaker. The number of lights is counted depending on the 50-watt lights. If you go higher, do the math and you are ready!
From the right rating to the regulation along with the load capacity of your 15-amp circuit, you already know a lot about it now! It’s won’t be confusing anymore to add outlets and lights to the breaker after this. However, checking the state law is your first job- stick to it!