LED Recessed Lighting (Ontario)

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Posted by: from Ottawa
1/20/2018 at 4:29:13 PM

I am planning a kitchen reno which includes replacing 2 existing ceiling lighting fixtures with ten 9W-equivalent LED recessed lighting fixtures. Rule 12-4000 requires no more than 12 fixtures on a branch circuit. The existing circuit including the two overhead lights adds up to 12 fixtures. Are there exceptions to Rule 12-4000 for this situation? It seems to make no sense as just one of my existing fixtures has 4x50W halogen bulbs = 200W and I am proposing to replace it with 90W worth of LED. Thanks.

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Date/Time1/20/2018 at 7:09:44 PM

It is basically an unwritten rule that if you're using LEDs that you can load it up. The way it works is 120V x 12A( which is what they say you're allowed)= 1440W. Stay within that range and you'll be alright. Hope this helps.


Canbrit Electrical Systems Inc.

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Date/Time1/20/2018 at 8:34:51 PM

Connar is pretty much right but this only works for dedicated lighting circuit.

Circuit would consider mixed if there's at least one outlet on the same this case every outlet or light is counted as 1A device and you can't exceed the total of 12

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/20/2018 at 9:27:50 PM

You are in Ontario, you should be using the OESC, there is no rule 12-4000. Branch circuits feeding lights can be calculated by known loads, not device counts. Unknown devices to be counted with loads are receptacles.

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Date/Time1/21/2018 at 8:30:52 AM

Hi Andy, If you remove one light fixture that's the equivalent to 120 watts. In your case you want to remove two existing light fixtures or let's say 240 watts. If you want to install 10 new led fixtures with a known load of 9 watts each that's only 90 watts in total. In Ontario that would be approved by any ESA inspector.

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Date/Time1/23/2018 at 6:47:20 PM

Hello Andy

Robert is right, there is no such rule as 12-4000 in either the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) or the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC).

What you are referring to is rule 8-304 which determines the maximum number of power consuming devices on a circuit. I am not sure where Connar is coming from, there are no unwritten rules when it comes to the electrical code.

Alex is closer to the explanation that is correct, and Robert has the right answer in rule 8-304, if the load is known then you can install more than 12 power consuming devices on the circuit. What this means is that you have to use the maximum wattage rating of the fixture and not the lamp that is actually installed in the fixture. The maximum wattage for a standard 15 amp circuit is 1440 watts (15 x .8 x 120 = 1440). This only applies to a dedicated lighting circuit as Alex pointed out; as soon as you add a receptacle to the circuit then you are back to the 12 device count .


John Kuehnl-cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Date/Time1/29/2018 at 5:04:05 PM

There is no 12 fixture limit. It's a common misconceptions.

Maximum circuit load should not be more than 1440w.

Check for maximum rating on your pot light.

It should be 7w-50w. Depending on your fixtures.

Led fixture should not be more than 10-12w.

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Steph in Quebec
Date/Time5/9/2021 at 5:47:38 PM

hey, maybe you can find here what you're looking for

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