I'm going to assume you are referring to residential construction because rules for commercial and industrial settings can be different. Also rules differ by geography (i.e. Canada specifies a maximum of 8 outlets on a 15 amp circuit, USA code is silent on the issue but for practical purposes, more than about 10 will likely lead to poor performance. Some code also specifies max loading of a 20 amp circuit at 80% making 10 outlets the practical limit if using 20 amp outlets on that circuit.
To expand on the previous answer a little, there is a large margin of safety in the construction of these components but if you think about it, you are placing a component that is rated at 15 amps into a 20 amp circuit. That outlet is potentially the weakest link in the circuit and could act like a fuse. If any of those 15 amp outlets are overloaded, it might overheat and fail before the circuit breaker. This is a recipe for a fire. You may think now that you'll remember to only plug in light loads, but these things have a habit of growing.
You can plug typical small home appliances (lamp, stereo, TV, etc.) into a 20 amp outlet so the only benefit in using the 15 amp outlet is the minor cost savings at installation. If it were my building, I wouldn't risk it.
In the United States you can run 20 amp breakers with 15 amp outlets but not in Canada. And for how many? About 10 to be on safe side as long as they are all low amp usage appliances. TVs, steros, fans, lamps.
You can run 20 amp breaker with 12-2 wire as long as you make sure you use the 12-2 wire that is rated at 20 amp.
Before you do any work yourself,
on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,
always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.
IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB
SAFELY AND COMPETENTLY
REFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.
It would be quite unusual to have a single 60 amp circuit with outlets and lights. You would have to use very heavy wire to each light and outlet. Typical lighting circuits would be protected by 15 amp breaker and a circuit with general purpose receptacles would have a 20 amp breaker. A typical lighting circuit might have 10 to 12 fixtures and receptacle circuit might have 8 outlets. If you don't know how to size a circuit get an electrician.
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