I have a flush mount ceiling light fixture with 2 bulbs, also has included 2 sets of black and white wires for each light bulb. This is where I am having trouble the little box in the ceiling has 4 separate cables all coming into it; so 4 sets of black and white. One is to the breaker, second is to the light switch, the third is to another light, and the fourth I have no clue where it goes somewhere into the main floor.

When I took the original light fixture off, it was a pull string light for starters with the brass screws, but with all those wires in the box they had a white wire twisted together with a bunch of blacks? I didn't think that was normal but I didn't make note of which wire it was unfortunately. I also managed at one point when I was attempting to install the new light fixture (with the 4 wires), I had 1 light on the switch hadn't been turned on yet? The other light in the fixture however wouldn't turn on even if the switch was one. The other light in series I could turn on. Any ideas?

  • 1
    Some clear pix of the box with wires would help. But you also need to give a clearer explanation of the situation. Sounds as if you're simply replacing a light fixture that originally was a pull string but also has a wall switch with a two bulb light that will be switched from the wall. But it also sounds like there is a lot going on in that box some of which you may have compromised.
    – HoneyDo
    Feb 9, 2020 at 6:17
  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? Feb 9, 2020 at 6:38
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, we'll need more info before we have any chance of helping you. Please take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Feb 9, 2020 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


What you have is a switch leg and possibly a outlet or switched outlet depending on how connected,

the white with the blacks was the switch leg and was correct but it should have Been reidentified as a hot by tape or a colored marker other than white, green or gray.

Find the cable that comes from the breaker connect that black to the white of the switch if you want the outlet hot all the time connect the don’t know where it goes black to the breaker black.

Now the switch black connects to the 2 blacks for the new light and the black for the existing light.

Next connect the white from the breaker the 3 lights and the receptacle together.

Last if there are grounds tie them together and if a metal box the box should be pigtailed also.

This will get you back together. If you want the outlet switched that hot black wire would go with the 3 lamps black but it may feed multiple outlets so hot all the time is normal.

Next time only remove the wires from the old fixture because if it works it is probably correct and you will have to reconnect it that way to make it work in the future.

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