Avoid Mistakes When Wiring New Lights
How to Wire Switches When Adding Light Fixtures: Electrical Wiring Tips for Wiring Light Fixtures and Switches
Guide to Wiring Switches for New Light Fixtures
Electrical Question: We wanted to put lights on the outside of our garage and it was not pre-wired.
- We ran the wiring from the lights where we wired both lights, tied them in together to one switch.
- Then we added the switch to an existing switch in our home.
- It was a single switch we wanted to tie in to make it two and have the new switch work the outside lights.
- Now that everything is complete we are not getting any power to the outside lights at all. However, when we use the tester on the wiring outside the main (black) and neutral wires are showing hot.
We have looked at so many diagrams and read all sorts of stuff but cannot seem to find out whats going wrong.
Background: Tabatha, a Homeowner from Sanford, Florida.
Thanks for your electrical question Tabatha.
How to Wire Switches When Adding Light Fixtures
Application: Installing Outdoor Lights.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best Installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Tool Pouch of Electrical Tools, and Voltage Tester, Fiberglass Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience working with electrical wiring, the number of lights that will be replaced or installed and access to the light fixtures.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit or power source, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the electrical wiring and light fixture connections.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for outdoor lighting should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Electrical Wiring Tips for Wiring Light Fixtures and Switches
- Here are some tips that may help you with your light fixture wiring:
- If your power source is coming from another switch and you are not wiring for three way switches then make sure the hot is wired to the primary power source and not the load side of the switch.
- If you would like the two switches to function as three way switches then an additional 3-wire cable will need to be installed between the two switches.
- When taking voltage readings make sure that you are testing the wiring correctly by testing from the hot to the ground wire and the hot to the neutral wire.
- Check all the wiring connections and splices to make sure the wires are together and the connector is tight.
- Planning and Installing Home Lighting
- Home lighting articles covering recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, lighting terminology and more.
This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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