I am installing a light fixture in the kitchen. How do I wire it?

The light fixture has:

  • 2 light bulb sockets
  • 2 black wires (one coming out of each socket)
  • 2 white wires (one coming out of each socket)
  • A bare metal ground wire

My junction box in the roof has:

  • 2 black wires
  • 2 white wires
  • 1 red wire
  • 1 ground wire

enter image description here

I tried following wiring and it didn't work when I turned the switch on:

  • First black from fixture to first black from box
  • Second black from fixture to second black from box
  • First white from fixture to first white from box
  • Second white from fixture to second white from box
  • Ground from fixture to ground from box
  • Left red disconnected and covered it with cap.
  • Please show how the electrical box in the ceiling was previously wired up. Hopefully you took a photo of that before removing the previous fixture.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 21:41
  • @MichaelKaras Sorry, I didn't take a picture before removing. I know that the two whites in the junction box were together, and the two black in the junction box were together. I can't remember where the red wire was.
    – user113655
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 21:43
  • 2
    Obviously you took stuff apart and experimented. In the future, don't experiment. (Presumably, if it had worked, you would have declared "Mission Accomplished" and never even posted. However there are many combinations which work and will kill you; that's the problem with that). When stymied, never "try stuff". always pause, learn/skillup, or ask. Also I think you've learned that must junctions are totally undocumented, the only documentation is the positions the wires were in as you found them. Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 22:28
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica Yes. Definitely learned my lesson here. Thanks for the advice!
    – user113655
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Take the two black wires in the box and wire nut them together. Take the two white wires from the box and twist them together and then connect them to the two white wires from the fixture with a wire nut. Take the red wire in the box and connect it to the two black wires from the fixture with a wire nut. Connect the ground wires together. Turn off the power before doing any of this.

  • Should I use electrical tape when connecting wires from fixture to the box? It seems like it'll be too thick for the wire nuts.
    – user113655
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 22:20
  • 2
    @user113655 You never use electrical tape for splices. Use appropriate sized wire nuts, and do a pull-test when you are done; if they don't stay that's a technique problem. The nuts in your kit may be too small; if they are go up to an orange or yellow sized nut. (colors = sizes). They sell a combo pack of 4 of each size for something like $3. Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 22:30
  • The wire nuts you are referring to in your comment probably came with the lamp fixture. Best practice is for all the connections to be made up and have pig-tails (short wires) for connecting to the lamp (roughly quoting code speak: The wiring in the receptacle must be ready to "receive the device") . I also have an issue with JACK's advice. It would be good to see a pic of the wiring of the switch that controls the fixture. It looks like a switch leg so JACK is probably right, but it'd be good to be sure. Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 0:12
  • 1
    Missed one thing, mentioning the wire nuts that may have came with the fixture. Those are appropriate when using pigtailed connected because you are just connecting the small (probably 18 or 16ga wires from the fixture to a single 14 or 12ga. You're right in that they would be too small for reconnecting what you took apart. Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 0:22
  • Thanks George and Harper.
    – user113655
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 15:28

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.