I’m trying to connect a simple lighting fixture with ground, white, and black wires into a ceiling junction box as shown below. When I removed the cover plate, there were 2 black wires, 2 white wires, 3 green wires, and 1 unstripped yellow wire enter image description here

I connected the lighting fixture according to the instructions by connecting white to white, black to black, and ground to green. When I turned the breaker on, the light fixture was permanently on and I couldn’t control it with any of the switches.

Is this related to the yellow wire being unconnected? How should I be connecting a lighting fixture to this setup?

I don’t know if it’s relevant but there are two nearby switches with yellow wires connected to them as well (shown below). enter image description hereenter image description here

  • 1
    You have photographed four switches. What do they control? Dec 30, 2019 at 22:57
  • Yes, what do the switches in question control? Do you have a voltage-detector or multimeter, for that matter? Dec 31, 2019 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Look for a switch with a yellow wire that doesn't seem to control anything. That will become the switch for the light fixture.

Connect your light fixture green to green, white to white, and fixture black to ceiling yellow.

  • Thank you so much! I connected the fixture black to the ceiling yellow and it works with one of the switches that had a yellow wire connected to it!
    – clark
    Dec 31, 2019 at 1:06

Since your yellow wire was not stripped it is probably your switched hot and this being an extra light fixture I would pull the light black wire off the connection to the other blacks and connect the lights black wire to the un-used yellow, this will probably give you control of the new light and probably an existing one that’s how I would have done a spec home that did not want all the bells and whistles. It looks like the black wire is connected to the switch with the yellow on the other side If so I would try this.

  • Thank you for your help! I connected the light's black wire to the yellow in the box and it works! I really appreciate it!
    – clark
    Dec 31, 2019 at 1:07

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