ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

» Home Electrical Wiring Projects
» Residential Electrical Wiring: Guide to Home Wiring
» Need Electrical Help? Free Electrical Help

Wiring Connections When Replacing a Light Fixture

How do I connect the light fixture wires to my ceiling electrical box wiring? Electrical Wiring Connections for Light Fixture, Best Practices When Replacing Light Fixtures.

Electrical Video #1

Electrical Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Helping You to Wire It Right!

See more Home Electrical Wiring Videos

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

See the Electrical Wiring Video #2 Below:

Light Fixture Wiring
[ad#block]Electrical Wiring Question: How do I connect the light fixture wires to my ceiling electrical box wiring?

Can you please help me?

This home electrical repairs question came from: Andrea, from Beaverton, Oregon.

Additional Comments: This is a great website I have already learned a lot from just a half an hour of browsing.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Andrea.

How to Connect the Wires for a Light Fixture

Understanding Light Fixture Wiring

Application: Ceiling Mounted or Wall Mounted Light Fixture.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the light fixture(s).
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the circuit wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Best Practices When Replacing Light Fixtures

Before replacing a light fixture the electrical wiring connections should be labeled so it is known which wire was connected where. This can be done any number of ways including making a quick drawing and using masking tape to label each wire or set of wires, or taking a picture would be helpful as well.

Electrical Wiring Connections for Light Fixtures

Electrical Circuit Protection
When electrical circuit wiring is installed correctly there will be no danger of an electrical hazard or an electrical fire because when the circuit design is correct it will be protected by the circuit breaker, however incorrect wiring connections will affect the performance of the circuit and will affect anything that is connected to the circuit wiring.

More about Wiring Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans

Wiring Ceiling Fans

How to Install Ceiling Fans

Take the mystery out of ceiling fan wiring. Ceiling Fans are a great way to lower your energy bill and brighten up one of your favorite rooms.

How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring

Step-by-step pictures – Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide – Light and fan switch variations.

Guide to Home Electrical Wire

Electrical Wire for the Home

Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

How to Install Home Lighting

Using Testers to Identify Electrical Problems

Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems

Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
Types of Electrical Testers

The following may also be helpful for you:

Electrical Wiring Video #2

Home Electrical Wiring Videos about this Topic and More

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

Dave's Companion Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

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

More articles about Electrical Repair, Electrical Wiring, Fixture Wiring, Light Fixture, Lighting and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
Installing a Occupancy Sensor Switch for a Bath Exhaust Fan How To Troubleshoot Wall Receptacle Problems

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Wiring Connections When Replacing a Light Fixture”
  1. ken says:

    I’m trying to install a new light fixture in the front hall. Currently the light is activated by two switches (on each end of hall). The NEW fixture has 1 black wire and 1 white wire. The ceiling wires have 2 black and 2 white coming down. The OLD single light has the 2 wires connected separately by a little metal tab.

    I tried connecting the 3 black and 3 white together and attached the metal ground to the green screw. It kept on switching the breaker when I went to turn it back on.

    How do I connect this light so I can still use all switches? Again, 2 black and 2 white in ceiling, 2 switches, new light has 1 black, 1 white, and 1 ground.


  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Ken,
    It sound like you have created a direct short between the hot and neutral of the circuit, so one pair of wires of one cable is most likely being used for switching. This is best identified using a voltage tester.