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Heating & Cooling

Lighting Fixture Wiring

Hi.  I am attempting to install a new lighting fixture.  There is 1 black and 1 white wire coming from the ceiling, but there are 2 white wires coming out of the new fixture.  Nothing is ribbed or labeled on the lighting fixture, the white wires are identical.  Anyone know how to know which one should connect to the hot?



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Posted 2012-09-17T16:38:44+0000  by andymills01 andymills01

Hi andymills01,


Thanks for your wiring question, and welcome to the community!


It sounds like you have a 2-wire application without a ground, which is similar to a polarized lamp cord. 


Before you do any wiring, make sure you turn off power to the fixture at the circuit breaker. Also, investing in an electrical tester can help you determine if the wires are still hot and other ones that aren't. The wires in your ceiling should be a neutral for the white wire and the hot lead for the black, using the tester first on them will guarantee you which one is which. 


As for the wires on your existing fixtures, separate the wires, connect one lead to the white wire in the ceiling and the other do the black. Make sure the leads coming off your fixture are NOT crossing or touching, separating them is crucial.


Hope this helps you out,


Posted 2012-09-17T17:20:59+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Great.  Are you saying that it does not matter which wire goes to which?  

Posted 2012-09-17T18:43:19+0000  by andymills01

pretty much, as long as they are separated and you absolutely know the existing ceiling wires aren't live and the black is the hot lead and the white is the neutral line. 


Keep us updated,


Posted 2012-09-17T18:45:07+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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