Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Subject: wiring a ceiling light

Name: Dave

Question:
I am helping my son install a new light fixture in the ceiling. I am having a problem hooking up the wiring in the box to the light fixture. From the switch there is a short black pigtail running to two black wires in the box which run to the box in the ceiling. On the other side of the switch there is a red wire that also runs to the ceiling box. Inside the the switch box there are two white wires ( not connected to the switch that runs to the ceiling box. I connected the black wires to the black wire on the light fixture and the white wires to the white wire on the light fixture. I wasn,t sure where the red should go. I tried not connecting the red to anything and the light stayed on when we turned the power back on. The wall switch would not turn it off. I tried connecting the red to the black ( the red and all of the black together) and the light still stayed on all of the time. The wall switch is not a three way. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks,
Dave

Answer:
Hi Dave,
Your light fixture should be attached to the white wire (neutral wire) and the Red wire (the switched hot). The black wire (the constant hot) does not get attached to anything. They just get tucked into the box with a wire nut.

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