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Wiring a Ceiling Light from an Outlet

wiring light from outlet

Summary: Electrical Lighting Question: When coming from a 12 ga wired receptacle to feed a ceiling light through a wall switch, can the wire from the receptacle to the light be 14 ga or must it too be 12 ga?.

How to Wire a Ceiling Light from an Outlet

Wire a Ceiling Light from an Outlet

When coming from a 12 ga wired receptacle to feed a ceiling light through a wall switch, can the wire from the receptacle to the light be 14 ga or must it too be 12 ga?.

Also, not being aware of the new four wire requirement for ranges and dryers, I had already purchased cut to length three conductor wire before I purchased the appliances.

Can I use the three wire cable I have and run a single wire with it to make it four wire?
This is new construction.


Hi Woody - Great Questions!
When wiring from your receptacle to the light, or in any case of extending the wiring from an existing circuit you must stay with the same wire size to maintain the safety and integrity of the circuit protection. As for the three wire instead of four wire cables, I would advise against running a separate wire to add your fourth wire to the three wire cable. The reason is because one of the wires in the three wire cable is most likely un-insulated and could be used only for the ground which means if you ran a fourth separate wire to make it a four wire set the single wire will not be protected because it should be encased in a protective jacket or conduit

You could try returning the cable, tell them you made a mistake and see if they will credit you towards the four wire cable. I'm sure they would consider it so they could sell you the four wire cable.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!


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