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I have a garage which was wired up by an electrician to be my workshop. There are several runs of electrical cable (including one 60A, 220V circuit) running along the ceiling of the garage. They are not in conduit.

Now, I'd like to add some fluorescent lights to the ceiling. I'm planning on using conduit lighting/fixtures to use an existing 15A circuit and convert an outlet to a conduit box for this. This circuit will not be used for anything other than the lighting. In total, we're talking about 4x fluorescent lighting fixtures which would hold 2x 40W bulbs each.

My question is, can I run conduit at perpendicular angles to the cable already in place? Or, will I need to figure out a path so that the conduit does not cross the cables in place?

Futher, since I already have cable running in the garage not in conduits, and this seemed to be fine, can I just run the lighting without the need for conduits?

If it makes any difference, I am located in Colorado.

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  • Is the ceiling finished? What types of cables are currently run along the ceiling? Can you post a photo or two? Was the previous wiring inspected?
    – Tester101
    Dec 7, 2015 at 2:26
  • what type of wire is the 60A 220v ? is it a single cable with multiple hotts and your neutral and ground or single strands of wire.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 7, 2015 at 17:30
  • Consider 1) running the new cables in the attic, on top of your trusses, if accessible, and 2) springing for a few of the new crop of LED shop lights. They're fantastic.
    – isherwood
    Dec 7, 2015 at 21:27

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To answer your main question, having the wiring cross is not in itself a problem. However it sounds like you may just have romex / NM strapped to the underside of the ceiling, that isn't likely up to code. In a workshop, I might err towards caution and pipe it all up. This is not as much trouble or expense as you might think in a single open room. In a workshop I can picture a long piece of material getting away from you and hitting the ceiling, much better to have the wiring protected if that happens.

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