A 20 amp circuit is usually a common amp rating to power single or two bedrooms. Besides this, this set is perfect for devices like 15-amp circuits, outlets, and overhead lights. Although it could be an excellent extension to empower a lighting system, it is necessary to know exactly how many lights can be on a 20 amp circuit.
Theoretically, you can put 38 lights of 50 watts on a 20-amp circuit. It depends on the power of the light fixtures. Normally, we don’t know enough about it and the maximum time we need to depend on expert electricians. However, to satisfy your knowledge of thirst, I will discuss here the specific amp circuit and lighting system.
So what do you think? Is that not enough to figure out the entire scenario? Yes, you are right!!! Let’s dive into more details throughout the entire article.
About 20 Amp Light Circuit
The 20 amp circuit is most commonly used in residential buildings, garages, kitchens, and for home appliances. This circuit is usually used for every kitchen’s countertop and overheating light with other appliances.
The specialty of this 20 amp rating is that it can load more power with a big consumption of tools. So, one can easily use multiple lights on this specific amp circuit rating without any doubt.
Can I Use a 20 Amp Circuit for Lights? How Many Lights Can Be on a 20 Amp Circuit?
Yes, you can use a 20 amp circuit for light. But, the number of lights used on a 20 amp circuit shouldn’t exceed more than 1920 watts according to NEC 80% rule.
Because the maximum load capacity of a 20 amp circuit is 1920 watts. So, there’s no problem using a 20 amp circuit for light.
The Number of Lights Can Be on a 20 Amp Circuit
It can allow 38 light of 50 watts on a 20 amp circuit. Again, if the light is rated at 75 watts, you can put 25 lights on a 20-amp circuit. You can also use 19 lights which are rated at 100 watts.
So, this actually depends on the type of light you are using! We also need to consider a few rules and calculations before knowing the total number of lights we allow to use on a circuit. Let’s know how it’s calculated-
First, you must know how many watts can load on a 20 amp circuit. We can calculate this with ohm’s law,
V (volts )×I (amps)= P (Watts)
That means a 20 amp circuit breaker by 120 volts can load 2400 watts. If you put fixtures or gadgets which flow more than 2400 watts on a 20-amp circuit, you can imagine how risky it’ll be!!
Then, you need to consider an 80% NEC breaker rule (National Electric Code). The rule is that the maximum continuous load should be 80%. According to Upcodes, this safety measure protects the breaker from overheating, unwanted firing, or other risks.
⇨Maximum continuous load=2400×0.8= 1920 watt
Now, you have to notice the number of watts on the light fixtures. Well, if your light fixtures are 50 watts, then the number of lights you can put-
⇨1920÷50= 38.4~ 38
For 75 watt light⇨ 1920÷75= 25.6~ 25
For 100 watt light⇨1920÷100=19.2~ 19.
Hence, you are allowed to put 38 lights of 50 watts or 25 lights of 75 watts, or 19 lights of 100 watts on a 20-amp circuit.
How Many LED Lights Can Be on a 20 Amp Circuit?
You are able to add a maximum of 12 LED lights on a 20-amp circuit. Although each LED light consumes 0.54 amp, the number of LED lights should be more than 12, right? But Research Gate says, you’ve to consider one internal thing while adding LED light on a circuit breaker.
As we know, a 20 amp circuit breaker’s maximum load capacity is 1920 amp. In that case, you can put 38 LED lights of 50 watts on a 20-amp circuit, prooved by Harvard.
Hold! Using more than a dozen LED lights can result in an overheating circuit. Again, you need to calculate the inrush current when an LED light is on a circuit.
When you energize an LED light, a high inrush current flow exceeds the nominal current. Well, the nominal current is a current that runs under steady-state conditions.
Significantly, the peak inrush current can be more than 16-18 times more than the nominal current. That’s why the inrush current exceeds the normal rating of the circuit breaker. This is what limits the use of maximum LED light.
Again, you should also consider the square footage of the room. However, using 12 LED lights is safe to prevent any risk.
How Many Can Recessed Lights Be on a 20 Amp Circuit?
You can put up to 12 recessed lights on a 20-amp circuit. But don’t overload the circuit with a low-watt recessed light. It’s safe to add a maximum of 12 LED recessed lights. The 40-50 watt recessed light can be easily added on a 20 amp circuit.
Again, considering the room’s square footage, you can add more LED lights with a higher wattage on a 20 amp circuit.
How Many Light Fixtures Can Be on a 20 Amp Circuit?
It actually depends on the type of bulb you want to add! Theoretically, the number of lights can usually be 38 (based on 50 watts), 25 (based on 75 watts), and 19 (based on 100 watts) on a 20-amp circuit.
How Many 100-watt Lights Are on a 20 Amp Circuit?
You can put 19 lights on a 20-amp circuit rated at 100 watts. For 100-watt lights, you need to divide the maximum load capacity of a 20-amp circuit by 100 watts. This shows you can add almost 19 lights on a 20-amp circuit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many receptacles can be on a 20-amp circuit?
The National Electric Code recommends not using more than 10 outlets on a 20-amp circuit. So, 10 receptacles can be on a 20-amp circuit.
How many lights can go on a 20-amp circuit?
You can add 38 lights of 50 watts, also 19 lights of 100 watts on a 20-amp circuit. It depends upon the power of light rated on fixtures.
Can I put lights on a 20-amp circuit?
Yes, you can add multiple lights on a 20-amp circuit. But, it shouldn’t overload the circuit with too much light and outlet. More than 12 LEDs can overheat the circuit breaker.
How many outlets and LED lights are on a 20-amp circuit?
Adding 12 LED lights and outlets used on a 20 amp circuit would be safe. Because there’s a flow of inrush current which exceeds the nominal current, there is a possibility of firing or overheating the circuit breaker.
How much can a 20-amp circuit handle?
Generally, a 20-amp circuit can load 2400 watts. But according to the 80% NEC breaker rule, it can safely load 1920 watts.
How many fluorescent lights can be on a 20-amp circuit?
According to the national electric code, there is no specific indication about the number of fluorescent lights you can add on a 20 amp circuit.
The final thought is that you must determine the power rate on light fixtures. Then calculate the number of lights you should use. Hopefully, you’ve got the right answer to the question, “how many lights can be on a 20 amp circuit.”
The electric wiring is usually tough to understand. Call an electrician if you can’t figure out what you should do. They can easily handle the wiring of your house.
That’s for today! Wishing you the best of luck with your new home wiring. Goodbye!
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