First, I know nothing about electric and will get an electrician to do this.... if it can be done. So guess I'm wondering if it can even be done.

I bought 6 gorgeous single light fixtures from Habitat for Humanity. They are on a pole with the electrical stuff/plate on one side and the light on the other side. 38" long, very ornate but newer, not old. There are two wires coming out of the wire side: 1 is just a silver wire with no coating; the other is coated in clear plastic with two brass colored wires in it. I'm pretty sure these originally were hanging from a ceiling. However my ceilings are way too tall and I want to place these on the walls in my living room. The pole swivels up and down from the ornate structure over the plate/electrical so attaching the plate to the wall and moving the pole in the upward position works, it stays in place fine.

There are no individual off/on switches on these so I suppose they were connected in the wall someway where on switch on the wall turned them all on. I would like to be able to have an off/on switch on each one. Is that possible? I do have electrical outlets close to where I want to put each of the 6 lights. Two of the walls where I could put a couple of the lights have light switches. One wall has 3 light switches that turn off/on: the lanai light, lanai fan, and the third switch don't know what it's for as can't see anything it turns on. The other wall has 3 switches also: one switch for the entry inside light, one for my front porch light, and the 3rd one for the extended wrap around porch lights.

Images added from links in comments: enter image description here

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange. I'm sorry to say that your description is very hard to visualize. Do you have any pictures of the fixture that you could post? Aug 24, 2018 at 12:22
  • I don't see an "attach image" icon on this website but I put a couple jpgs on one of my domains for you to look at. THANKS! postville.com/Images/light1.jpg and postville.com/Images/light2.jpg Aug 24, 2018 at 13:35
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    Yeah you have to "level up" (gain reputation) a bit. That's ok, I'll edit them in. Aug 24, 2018 at 14:02

3 Answers 3


Based on reviewing the pictures, yes, a qualified electrician can easily wire these to be controlled by one or more wall switches. Something like a 3-gang box with 3 duplex switches sounds ideal for this plan.

However, you will have to endure quite a lot of damage to the walls in order to run wiring, and electricians usually don't patch the walls when done.

  • Surface raceway would avoid the wall damage, at least Aug 25, 2018 at 0:06

You can convert the socket you plug the light in to be controlled by a wall switch. It's possible that the unknown switch does this already. A wall switch often controls just one outlet on a duplex socket. Doing this requires running 3 wires from the switch to the outlet you want switched.

Then you can have a proper cord put on the lights (possibly with an inline switch) and just plug them into the switched outlets.

  • 1) These lights aren't currently on plugs so they would have to be converted to pluggable lights. 2) True but OP asked about having up to 6 individual switches. To accomplish that will still require a lot of wiring. Aug 24, 2018 at 14:34
  • WOW! Thank you Evil for putting the pictures up and the answers from you both. I'll call the electrician and see how many I can put up and where! Sandy Aug 24, 2018 at 19:41

This is a job for raceway of some flavor

You will want your electrician to run a raceway of some sort -- either metal conduit or ENT ("smurf tube") if you want the wiring in the walls, or a surface raceway (often called Wiremold™) if you want to avoid having to patch walls when you're done, but don't mind having boxes and such on the walls insteadof in them. This would allow the electrician to run hot wires from each switch to each light individually, while keeping all the hots, the neutral, and the ground grouped together.

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