Wiring Lighting

How To Hook Up Your Lights In Series

When hooking lamps in series the voltage will need to be the total of all the lamps added together. If you have 10 1.5 volt lamps, you will need a total of 15 volts. All lamps hooked in series must be the same type and voltage. You can connect as many lamps in series as you need, keeping in mind the voltage needed will be a total of all lamps used. You will also need enough current (AMPS) to power all the lamps you are using. In series, if one lamp fails all will go out.

How To Hook Up Your Lights In Parallel

When hooking up in parallel, all lamps must be the same voltage but not necessarily the same type. You could use lamps that draw very little current with lamps that need high current, however the voltage supplied will need to be the same as the total of the individual lamps. As in series, you can use as many lamps as you need, but you need enough current (AMPS) to drive all the lamps you are using.

How To Hook Up Your Lights In Series/Parallel

Hooking lamps in series/parallel is a bit more complicated. The advantage is that you can use one voltage lamp in the series circuit and a different voltage and current lamps in the parallel part of the circuit. In the diagram to the left, if you have a supply of 24 volts, lamps 1 and 2 could be 12 volt lamps and lamps 3 and 4 would be 24 volt.

NOTE: If you supply less voltage than the lamps are rated at, the life expectancy goes up dramatically. When reducing the voltage by 10%, the life doubles.