So I have a duplex outlet that is powered on/off (both receptables) by the living room switch. The outlet is only connected to one white and one black wire, so I'm assuming the electricity ends there. I want to install recessed lightning in my living room and have questions regarding the wiring of the switch.

Basically from what I read on google and watching youtube videos are...

  1. Run romex cable from lightings to the switch box.

  2. Disconnect the black cold wire in the switch box that used to power the outlet and connect it to the newly black wire in the romex from the lights.

  3. Wire nut all 3 ground cables together (one from box, one from romex, and one connected to the green screw of the switch)

  4. Wirenut the 2 neutral white cables (one from box, one from romex)

  5. Nut of the ends of wires (individually) in the receptable box as it's no longer going to be used

My question is, is it okay to still have the neutral white and ground copper wire from the OLD receptable nutted with the new stuff? Would that do anything in the circuit? All except the black wire of course.

1 Answer 1


I would do it a little bit differently.

First I would tie all the ground wires together and push them into the back of the boxes.

On the new Romex cable, wrap both ends of the black wire with red tape to mark them. Red will be the color-code of "Switched-Hot".

At the lamp, connect the lamp's white to white, the lamp's black or red to the red (switched-hot) wire, and the ground to ground. Never mix white with ground.

At the switch, connect the "red" wire to one switch terminal, and a black pigtail to the other switch terminal (it may already be that way).

Then I would wire-nut all the black wires (which aren't marked red, obviously) in the switch box together - these are "always-hot". The pigtail to the switch, the supply, and the downline to the old socket.

Then I would wire-nut all the white wires together - these are neutral. The supply, the wire to the lamp, and the wire to the old socket.

Voilà. Now, the lamp works, and the old socket now is always-on.

  • Thank you! That works. Is it per code that I have to red tape the switch hot? Or that’s just for indication?
    – James L
    May 8, 2018 at 21:06
  • It's just for your own convenience. May 8, 2018 at 21:08
  • Great so what I got from your explanation was... wirenut blacks (load, outlet, and to the switch).... all whites together... all grounds together... and red taped black (to the switch)
    – James L
    May 8, 2018 at 21:20
  • Yup, color coding makes it easy! May 9, 2018 at 1:31

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