How To Wire a New Switch and Ceiling Light

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How do I wire the new switch using power from the existing power line to turn on and off the new ceiling light? Dave the electrician explains How to Wire a New Switch from an Existing Power Source.

Wiring a Wall Switch for Light Fixtures

Electrical Wiring Question:  How do I wire the new switch using power from the existing power line to turn on and off the new ceiling light?

  • I have a wall switch that controls an outlet so I can turn it off and on.
  • There is a lamp is plugged into the outlet now.
  • A 14/2 power line (red, black and ground) goes to the switch now from wall plug.
  • I ran a second 14/2 line from the wall switch box to a ceiling box for a light.

This electrical question came from: Dennis, a Handyman from Lewiston, New York.
See more about Home Wiring for New York

Additional Comments: Great web site, very helpful.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Dennis.

How to Wire a New Ceiling Light and Wall Switch

Application: Wiring for a Light Switch and a New Ceiling Light.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional light fixture and switch wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Wiring a New Ceiling Light and Switch from an Existing Power Source

  • From what has been described in this question, it appears that a Neutral Wire is not available at the wall switch.
  • The ceiling light fixture requires a neutral for the light to work and your wall switch box does not have a neutral wire available, so additional wiring will be required to obtain the neutral wire from the outlet.
  • Complete wiring diagrams can be found by following the information below.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.


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