I removed 2 fluorescent hard wired light fixtures from above my work bench. I installed an outlet in the box (on ceiling) where the 2 fixtures were hard wired in. There is a 4 way outlet box on the pegboard in front of me that has to stay hot. This 4 way is hot always.

In the ceiling box there is a white wire connected to the black ones.(?) There is 1 extra black wire in that box that I didn't hook up. I didn't know where to put it.

I plugged in the new LED fixture into the outlet, that I installed on the ceiling.

The wall switch does not work the new light. Where does the "extra black wire go?"

All outlets were checked with a circuit tester (the 2 amber/1 red light kind). All were good...2 amber lights.

I need to operate the new light with the wall switch.

Thank You one and all...

  • My best guess is the "extra black wire" is a switched hot. But in that case, you connected a hot instead, and the question is where was that supposed to go? Take a picture of the inside of the ceiling box and of the switch box and that might help figure out. Jan 4, 2019 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


In the future, pay more attention to how the old lamp was wired. In electrical, key information is in the position of wires - wires are not color coded by function. If you mix up wires, that information is gone, and must be reconstructed by an expert.

The solitary white connected to one or more blacks is the hallmark of a switch loop. This bundle will be always-hot wires. This bundle is of no use to a light, so you should leave them alone, just as you found them.

The aforementioned oddball white. Follow it back to the cable where it enters the box. In that cable will be a partner black. That is probably a solitary wire. That is switched-hot, and you want it for the lamps.

With all others accounted for, the remaining bundle of all white wires is assuredly neutral. This bundle needs to stay together but neutral from the lamp will be added to it also.


Since there is a white connected to the black this sounds like a switch loop, the white connected to the black goes to the switch as a hot (it should be marked with tape or painted at each end to identify it as the hot) and the black coming back is the switched hot. This wire goes to the black for the light and the white from the light goes to the other white wire in the box.

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