enter image description hereI live in a trailer that was built in 1974. I took down a ceiling fan that was hanging way too low for my height. I was very surprised to find 6 wires hanging down from the ceiling. Two of the wires are black, two of the wires are white, one of them is red, and the other is bare/ground. The fixture I bought to replace the ceiling fan has one black wire, one white, and one bare/ground. What is the proper way to connect my new light fixture to the wires that used to connect to my ceiling fan?

  • Ignore bare/ground - those are easy (all green or bare are ground and all of them always go together). Did the previous fan have separate switches for light & fan? Do you have any idea how the previous wires were connected to the fan? There are ways to figure out "anything", but starting with a previous functioning device is a lot easier than trying to figure out a mystery. Jan 11, 2019 at 5:49
  • @manassehkatz I sadly was not paying close enough attention to the fan itself, I don't know how it was set up. The fan had one switch on the wall for the light and a cord on the fan itself to turn the fan off and on. Jan 11, 2019 at 5:54
  • So then it gets a bit tricky, as there are a few possibilities. If you can upload a picture of the wires, that may help. Jan 11, 2019 at 5:59
  • @manassehkatz I edited the post. There's now a picture. Jan 11, 2019 at 6:50
  • While color codes are usually standard, I never like to assume a wire is what it is supposed to be based on color alone. For this reason I would take a volt meter and try to trace which each wire is. Like manatee said, you can assume the bare ones are ground but you should be able to find your source two wires and work out the rest from those.
    – Eric F
    Jan 11, 2019 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


In this case black are permanent live, red is switched live and white is neutral (common). Bare copper is PE.

Just connect the light fixture black (from the fixture) to the red, then pigtail the other blacks together, then pigtail the whites togeter with the one that will come from the new fixture.

Also connect the bare copper to the PE connector (if not class II) on the new fixture

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.