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Electrical Wire and Cable

Kitchen Light Fixture Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Connect the Wire When Replacing a Light Fixture that has Multiple Cables and Wires.

Electrical Connections for a Kitchen Light Fixture

Electrical Question: I am replacing a ceiling light fixture in my kitchen.

This electrical question came from: Kass, a Homeowner from Mohnton, PA.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Kass.

How to Connect Light Fixture Wires

Application: Wiring a Light Fixture.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Hand Tools and Safe Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal experience, the light fixture and access to the light fixture.
Precaution: Identify the light fixture circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Replacement parts for the light fixture should be compatible with the type of lamps that have been installed.

How to Make the Right Wiring Connections When Replacing a Light Fixture that has Multiple Cables and Wires

Kass, from what you are explaining about the electrical wiring that is found in the fixture box, you are correct, however using a voltage tester would verify the actual connections.

Using electrical testers
Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
When working on home electrical wiring, quality voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
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Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.

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2 Responses to “Kitchen Light Fixture Wiring”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Jeanie,
    From what you are describing it sounds like the light switch is being connected to the hot and neutral of the 120 volt circuit instead of being wired so the hot goes down to the switch, then when the switch is turned on it returns power back up to the ceiling junction box where it is connected so the light fixture will operate. To identify the cables and their function a voltage tester can be used while the circuit is on, or a continuity tester may be used while the circuit is off, this will help identify the cable going to the switch which is now connected incorrectly up in the ceiling.
    There is a link on this page that leads to Light Switch Wiring Diagrams which will help you see a few different wiring configurations.

  2. Jeanie says:

    We are replacing some recessed lighting in our kitchen with a new light fixture. There were 3 cans. Also included in the wiring is the connection to our hall bathroom. When we disconnected the wires we noticed that one black wire and a white wire were connected but did not get properly marked. So when we went to reconnect the wires to figure out what was what our light switch keeps tripping the breaker. How can we tell which white wire should be connected to the black.