I am extending a lighting and outlet circuit in a basement. The current setup has the following characteristics
- 15 amp. circuit breaker (200 amp service)
- 4 existing lighting fixtures using CFL bulbs (~ 20 W each)
- 1 existing double duplex outlet box (no regular appliance in use)
- 14/2 and 14/3 NM cabling (lighting switched, outlets not) throughout
- less than 100 ft of cabling so far
I plan on adding three lighting fixtures (for LED spots, less than 20W each) and one duplex outlet. I will tap off one of the existing boxes to get both a switched and a constant hot line. Additional cabling will be less than 30 ft.
Is there any reason I cannot use 12/2 and 12/3 NM cabling for this project (I happen to have some on hand)?
Is there any practical benefit (e.g., less voltage drop in this small section of line)?
Is there any disadvantage in doing so, other than higher cost of cabling and the slightly harder handling of thicker wires?
If the cabling were concealed, would the presence of a 12 gauge wire in an outlet box or fixture convey something to an electrician or future DIYer that is misleading based on the existence of unseen 14 gauge wiring upstream?