How to Wire a 3 Way Light Switch (with Pictures) - wikiHow

How to Replace a Light Fixture With a Ceiling Fan

how do you hook up a light fixture

As the ratchet is turned from below, arms on the brace extend until they contact the ceiling joists on both sides of the hole Image 3 demonstration. Ceiling Fan Selection You want roughly 3" of wire in the box, and 6" outside the box. Be sure to secure all wires within 8" of the box.

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There are exceptions to this rule, but it comes down to either using conduit or having access to the wiring so a neutral can be run in the future. If not, a ground wire will need to be run to the box to meet electrical code. Two grounding wires, plus one pigtail, tied off by a wire nut. Answer this question Flag as So we talked with two of our master electricians.

So spend an extra few bucks on a pack of assorted small connectors with metal threads when you buy the fixture. Extend the stranded wire further into the connector than the solid wire for a solid connection.

Light fixtures almost always require a connection between solid wire and stranded. The end of the stranded wire will bunch up inside the tip of the connector, locked in place for a secure connection. If the light fixture and outlets in the room are on different circuits, plug in a couple of lamps before you shut off the power to the fixture. Otherwise, strap on a camping headlamp. The built-in screw holes on a metal box are easy to strip.

And if that happens, your first impulse might be to use a drywall screw. Bad idea—the sharp tip can poke through wire insulation. That will enlarge the hole from a No. Touch a circuit tester to the ground wire and the hot wire to test the ground. If it lights, the ground is good. Your new light fixture will have a ground wire green coated or bare copper. But if you have an older metal box, there may not be a ground wire inside the box to connect to.

But before you do that, you have to make sure the box itself is grounded. Find the hot wire typically black or red using your noncontact voltage tester. If the light glows, the box is grounded. If not, a ground wire will need to be run to the box to meet electrical code.

This special tool neatly opens and closes decorative chains. Raising a chandelier is as easy as removing a few chain links. But opening and closing links without scratching or misshaping them can be a pain. Use a cable staple to secure the wires to the wall or stud within 8" of the box. Cables must be secured so that, if there is tugging or pulling further down the line, the live wires don't rip out of the box and cause issues.

Some boxes have clamps to hold onto the wires. Current electrical codes require any switch box without built-in clamps to have the wires secured within eight inches of the box. Secure to the center of the stud, in the wall, so that it will not be hit by drywall studs later on if you were to hang anything near the light.

Pull another 2-wire NM cable through the second switch box, just like you did in the very beginning with the first box. The only difference is that this 2-wire cable is not a power cable from the wall -- it is a free-hanging cable that you will use to attach the light. Be sure to strip 9" and pull the wires through into the second switch box. Be sure to secure all wires within 8" of the box. Pull the 2-wire cable from the second box up and into the light fixture.

Strip away " of the sheathing and pull your wires in so that they can attach to the light. Again, be sure to use a cable staple to support the wire within 8" of the box. Strip 1" off of the individual ends of all the smaller wires.

A 2-wire NM cable is actually made up of smaller wires, run together for convenience. You exposed those wires already, but now you need to strip the rubber sheath off of the very end of each of these little wires.

Curve the ends of every black and red cable into small hooks. This will make them easier to attach to the actual switches. You'll hook this around a screw, which you then tighten to clamp down the wire to the light switch. The should look like little canes. This is often easiest with needle-nose pliers. Use wire nuts to attach the each set of two white wires together. Twist the two white, neutral wires together in each box and twist on a wire nut.

Keep twisting until the wires are secured and the nut stays in place when let go. There are two sets to attach-- The pair in the first switch box The pair in the second switch box. Take all three ends and hold them together, then twist on the wire nut so they are all securely fastened together. You should have two wires tracing back through your NM cables, and one hanging ground wire on each set. This extra grounding wire will be attached to the light switches.

It is called a "pigtail" in electrical parlance. After making all your connections, fold the wires neatly into the box. You want to zig-zag them, so they come about a bit like an accordion. You can tuck the wires in the light switch back too -- though they didn't get any work done. Your two switch boxes should each be wired identically, like so: Two white, neutral wires tied off by a wire nut. Two grounding wires, plus one pigtail, tied off by a wire nut.

A red wire, with the end stripped and curled. A black wire, with the end stripped and curled. Replace the drywall, coverings, etc. By now, the wiring part is actually done. You'll just need to attach the cables appropriately to the switches and light now -- but the fixtures will be uncovered by your wall anyway.

Everything "behind the scenes" is mostly done. Attach the black power cable from the wall to the general screw black in the three-way light switch. Hook the curled end of the wire under the screw, then tighten down the screw to hold the wire firmly in place.

This screw is usually in the upper left side of the switch and is painted black, but check the guide that comes with your switch if you're unsure. Not all switches are made for three-way wiring. Make sure you purchase accordingly. There should be two black wires in your box -- one from the power source, one leading to the other box.

Make sure you use the power wire. Attach the remaining black and red cables from 3-wire NM to the traveler screws on the switch. These screws, often gold, will be on opposite sides of the switch. Hook the red one up to the side with you black power wire, and the black on the identical screw on the other side of the switch. Attach the hanging ground wire the pigtail to the green grounding screw. There should only be one screw left, and it is for that small, 6" free cable attached to the grounding wires.

Loop it around the screw and fasten it down like any other cable. Attach the black wire leading to the light to your general screw black. The wiring on the second switch is nearly identical to the first, except for this key difference: Attach the appropriate wires to your light fixture.

You should have a space for a neutral wire white , a grounding wire, orange or green and a power wire black. They will screw on easily, and your light is set. Replace the covers for the switches, screw them into place, and turn the power back on to be in business. Select the proper wire size. If originating from an electric panel or fuse box, 12 copper is the minimum size when connecting to a 20 amp circuit breaker or fuse; 14 copper is the minimum size when connecting to a 15 amp circuit breaker or fuse aluminum wire on circuits of these capacities has been prohibited for many years.

The size of all the wires in any circuit must be the same size. When obtaining power from a nearby electrical outlet or another circuit device, the new wiring must be the same size as those that supply the outlet. Select the proper cable type.

The power supply or feed cable should be "2 wire" or conductor cable plus a ground wire. See below for descriptions and uses of common cable types. This is a very important step.

Multiply this figure by 2 for gauge wire and 2. Plastic boxes have the volume stamped inside. Turn the power to the light back on at the main circuit panel the light switch is still on. Use the non-contact tester again to make sure there is power to the colored hot wire.

Touch the leads of a neon voltage tester between the hot wire and the metal box or between the hot wire and bare copper ground wire if you have one. If the tester lights, the metal box or bare copper wire is grounded and you can proceed. Turn off the power at the main circuit panel before continuing. Wrap the end of a 6-in. Wrap the wire at least three-quarters of the way around the screw in a clockwise direction. Tighten the screw to secure the ground wire.

Because most light fixtures are metal or have exposed metal parts, they need to have an equipment ground to be safe. First you have to make sure a grounding means is available Photos 3 and 4. The two lamp cord wires on many hanging light fixtures are hard to tell apart. Connecting it to the hot will energize the threaded bulb socket and create a potential shock hazard. See Photo 8 for clues to identifying the neutral fixture wire. Lock the threaded pipe in this position by tightening the locknut against the crossbar.

The Additional Information at the end of this article below show the two most common mounting systems. In either case, the trick is to thread the machine screws or threaded rod into the crossbar first. Then slide the canopy over the screws or rod. Tighten the locknut s to hold the screws or rod in this position.

Whether your light fixture is held to the box with screws or a threaded pipe, the two mounting systems shown here, the key to an easy installation is assembling and adjusting the parts before you crawl up on the ladder. To do this, first thread the screws or pipe through the crossbar. Position all the wires to one side of the crossbar.

Then screw the crossbar to the electrical box with the screws. Connect the neutral wire from the light fixture to the neutral white wire s in the box. If your fixture is wired with lamp-style cord rather than white neutral and black hot wires, identify the neutral wire by looking for silver conductors, writing, squared corners, or ribs or indentations on the insulation.

The unmarked wire is the hot wire. Connect it to the colored usually black or red hot wire in the box.

Imsges: how do you hook up a light fixture

how do you hook up a light fixture

Again, be sure to use a cable staple to support the wire within 8" of the box.

how do you hook up a light fixture

Your new light fixture will have a ground wire green coated or bare copper. Read more on Electrical Wiring.

how do you hook up a light fixture

Read more on Electrical Wiring. Post as a guest Name. Looking online, my options appear to be this: Take your power wire, coming from the house, and slide it into the first switch box. Aligning the first screw is easy enough because you can tilt the canopy a little and aim for the screw hole above it. Help answer questions Learn more.