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Trying to hook up 2 lights to a light switch. Power is coming through one light then to wecond light and switch. How do I get the 1st light to work on the switch?

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OK I asked for better info but, lets try this... If there is only one set of wires going to the switch, this is called a switch leg. Both wires,no matter what color they really are, are treated as black. so then in the first light box you connect one leg of the switch leg to the hot black incoming wire. the other leg connects to all other black wires in that box.Including the light. the white wires all hook together.( not the switch leg white, remember its really black)Including the light All Bare ground wires hook together. In the other box just match up colors and connect the wires together.Its as simple as that. Larry

Posted on Nov 16, 2009


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I have a light switch with 3 wires that have to be hooked to it.3 black wires 3 white wires and 3 ground wires.The light switch has 1 place for the black 1 place for white and 1 place for ground.

You have 3 cables entering the box.
Each cable has black and white and ground wire.
You have a single pole switch.
The switch has 2 brass-colored screws and 1 green-colored screw.

1) One thing is certain: all the ground wires connect together and then connect to green screw on switch.

2) After that, we are guessing without more information.
Add a comment.

3) What does the switch control?

4) If the switch controls a hallway light, and there is another switch for the same light: then you have wrong switch. You need 3-way switch. Buy 3-way switch and re-post question at fixya.

5) If switch controls a bath fan-light combo, repost question at fixya.

6) If the switch controls a regular light, and no other switch is involved: then the following information might work. Or you need to do testing and re-post another question at fixya.

-White wires probably connect together and are covered with a wire nut.

-Then two black wires connect to one brass screw and 1 black wire connects to other brass screw.

-But which black wire?

-Only one of the black wires has power from circuit breaker. That is hot wire.
-Hot wire connects to 1st brass screw on switch. Either screw.

-And then connect one of the other black wires to 2nd brass screw. Turn on power and see if light turns on.
-Try other black wire same way.
-The black wire(s) that turn on lights on should be left connected to 2nd brass screw.
-If one black wire did not turn on lights, then that wire probably connects to 1st brass screw along with hot wire.

Aug 29, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

2 Answers

I have got one power cable going to a 2 gang switch and need to feed two seperate lights off it.

All whites are marretted together,
  • white power - white 1st light - white 2nd light
Blacks are the return for each light, and are joined after passing through the switches,
  • black FROM 1st light - top of switch - bottom of same switch - black power AND other black from 2nd light (see next step)
  • (repeat of above) black From 2nd light - top of 2nd switch - bottom of 2nd switch - black power AND black from 1st light
NOTE: both switch blacks are marretted together to the black of power. Ground all 3 as normal to dblgang box. Total marrettes required is two (three if using one for grounds) Hope this helps. If so, please rate a four-thumbs up, Thank You.

Apr 02, 2011 | Home

1 Answer

I have a Leviton single pole rocker switch grnd, pilot light back and side wired #5628-2W i am trying to hook it up so light is on when switch is on i have 2 black wires 2 white wires and 1 ground wire how...

easy one first: ground wire to green screw. We have to assume the two black wires are the hot(coming from power source) and switch leg(going to light). Switch will have two brass colored screws. Looking at the switch with the off/on markings right side up. Put hot wire on upper screw and switch leg on other brass screw, With nothing hooked up, the hot wire will be the only wire with voltage on it. You can buy a non-contact voltage tester at Lowes or any place that sells electrical supplies. Now we must assume the two white wires are neutrals(one coming from power source and one going to light. The pilot light part of the switch will either have a silver colored screw or a white pigtail on it. all whites hook together. The pilot light is wired internally to the switch leg. Your switch should work properly now.


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I dont know if this went anywhere the first time or if I have to pay to get an answer, but I tried to replace the 2 toggle switch below with a switch which had a single toggle switch above a...

It sounds like the outside light may have been wired differently from what you may have thought.

You may need Sparkie to come and comb it through for you. You did not mention what happened to the other switched curcuit that you eliminated.

Lights wire in one of several ways, and the most common run power to the light and then on to the switch. in this configuration, the white neutral wire should be taped black, as it carries hot power during use. This wiring configuration may not allow you to have a power plug as you describe, as there may not be full time power in the switch box.

the other most common is power comes to the switch and then on to the light. this is much less commonly used.

Nov 06, 2010 | Pass & Seymour #690WGCC6 15A White 2SP UL...

1 Answer

Electrical hookup

Tie all the black wires together and connect to the black power wire coming from the switch. Tie all the white wires together and connect to the white wire coming from the switch. If this does not work then what you have is a switch leg going to the light. This will be just a white and black wire coming from the switch with another power wire going in. Look at the switch and see if you have a white and black wire connected to the 2 screws. if so this is a switch leg. You will have to disconnect all the black wires in the light mount and find which one is carrying power in. Let me know what you find and we will proceed.

May 23, 2010 | Home

1 Answer

Minka F719 Lavery Wired fan and fan works but light does not come

The light leg should be hooked to a power source. If you have a separate wire from a wall switch, that's where it should be hooked. Otherwise, you can hook it to the fan leg and operate the light from the switch on the fan.

Jan 31, 2010 | Minka F719-TSP Treville Tuscan Patina...

1 Answer

Windshield washer does not work

your 1st step is to have someone push the wash button while you listen
at washer res.(eng. off key in on pos.) to see if you can hear the pump
engage if not we move to step 2 check fuse if thats good onto step 3
the pump itself is inside the washer res. locate the plug at bottom of res. remove the elec plug + use a test light to test for power if it lights up change the lights ground(the clip end) from eng. or wherever it is to
the 2nd wire on the plug (by the way have someone in car to push
button while testing) if it lights up again you got bad pump.
if no power on 1st wire you test problem may be the switch.
if the test light don't come on at the 2nd wire check your ground

give this a try hope it works for ya any other ? give a shout good luck

Jan 13, 2010 | 2004 Dodge Stratus

1 Answer

My backup light wont work 87 bmw 325i conv

there is a reverse light pressure switch that screws into the transmission i would check 1st to see if its getting power to the switch when in reverse then see if its got power coming out. can you please rate me if this helps trying to make a buck

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