I have 2 ceiling fan boxes wired (and properly anchored to a beam), with 12-3 wire and separately switched. Obviously the intention was for somebody to eventually hang 2 fans with integrated lights and allow the lights and fans to be controlled independently of each other (i.e. 2 lights on one switch, 2 fans on the other). I don't want to use lights on the fans and instead would like to install separate lights physically separate from the fans. The idea being to run new 12-2 wire from the fan box, using the switched red to power the fans and connecting the black on the new wire to the switched black in the fan box to power the lights and connecting the neutral in the box to the neutral of the new wire and likewise for ground. Assuming if this is allowed that I wouldn't need to use 12-3 and carry around the unused switched red.
Can I do that and still meet code, or do I need to run a brand new circuit for the lights? I'm not at home at the moment, and I'm assuming the red and black hot wire are both on the same phase since I don't recall there being a double-ganged breaker or having to switch them off individually when I tested them a couple weeks ago.
The reasons I'd like to avoid a new cable are:
- The switches are on an exterior concrete block wall with a solid concrete header directly above them (Florida standard construction)
- There are horizontal stiffeners in the walls making it even more difficult to fish through the walls
- The installation is on the opposite side of the house from the attic access (far), the roof is constructed with trusses (difficult to move through) and I think I mentioned Florida (attic temperatures regularly exceed 140°F)
Otherwise, I'd happily fish a new cable through the walls and attic.