I have an old outdoor lamp and the wires used to be all twisted up so a friend cut them for me before we put the lamp in storage. Now I finally have it out of storage but I don't know what wires connect to what (pic attached). I know the green one is the ground wire, but beyond that I've got nothing. The "light bulb" side has three black and three white wires, and the base side has one white, one black, and one green. How do I attach these two sides?

enter image description here

Edit: this isn't the exact same model but it's very similar: https://www.target.com/p/manhattan-3-outdoor-lantern-post-bronze/-/A-14931671 I don't recall any part of the wiring being connected to the "body" when we first opened it up so I'm unsure what the green wire would attach to

Edit2: I will give the suggestions a try and update this post when I can -- thank you all

  • three lamps ... three sets of wires ... twist all the same color wires together
    – jsotola
    Aug 11, 2019 at 17:58
  • @jsotola so what would I do with the green one?
    – kehrin
    Aug 11, 2019 at 18:03
  • the green is ground ... it connects to the metal part of the lamp assembly
    – jsotola
    Aug 11, 2019 at 18:16
  • @jsotola that should be an answer put it in and I will up vote.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 11, 2019 at 18:24
  • 1
    Sure it explains how to connect the wires and the op can accept and close the question after it works.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 11, 2019 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


The short black wires are pigtails; their color can be disregarded.

Ground is always color-coded green, yellow-green stripe, or bare. It goes to the metal chassis of the junction box and lamp, or any ground wires coming from the lamp (e.g. There should be one running down any chains). It never goes to anything else.

The cluster of black wires goes to your black supply wire. These are all "hot" wires. You can simply attach the supply wire to the black pigtail after stripping off about 5/8" of wire so it'll go in the wire nut.

With those dealt with, all that can remain is neutral. Those go together. They are white except for the black pigtail, which we'll pretend is white.

Neutral is safe if everything is working, but certain malfunctions can cause neutral to become hot, so it is insulated like it's hot.

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.