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Installing Light Fixture in Prewired ceiling with orange, yellow, and white wires

I moved into a new condo that is pre-wired for something in the ceiling.  When I removed the plate I see white, orange, and yellow wires - when I expected to see black and white.  I want to install a light fixture which has black, white, and grounding wires.  What is my ceiling pre-wired for?  (Perhaps a ceiling fan instead of a light?)  Can I install a light fixture with the existing white, orange, and yellow wires, and if so, how?  (What wires connect to what wires?)

Thanks!
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Posted 2015-03-13T18:39:31+0000  by bab7 bab7
 
Unfortunately it's generally illegal for anyone but a licensed electrician to do electrical work in multifamily dwellings like condos.

The "hot" wire can be any color except white, gray, green, or bare copper.  White and gray are reserved the neutral wire and green and bare copper for the equipment ground. I'd suspect your ceiling box is wired for a fan with the yellow and orange wires providing independent power for the fan and light functions.  Is there wall switch(s) somewhere in the room that doesn't appear to have any other function?  The lack of a ground wire in the junction box may indicate the use of metal conduit which would function as the equipment ground.  Is the junction box steel?  Can you see individual wires coming into the box rather than a cable assembly like Romex?  Do you happen to live in Chicagoland?  Metal conduit is required in Chicago and frequently it's nearby suburbs.

Without seeing anything I would test for power between the yellow and white, yellow and box (assuming steel), orange and white, orange and the box.  If you get 120v between then I would suspect you have metal conduit and the ground wire of the light fixture just attaches to the box (there is a threaded screw hole provided in the bottom of the box).  Yellow or orange to the black wire, and white to white.

As I said, you really should have a licensed electrician install the fixture.
Posted 2015-03-13T20:40:33+0000  by Adam444
 
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