Novice.. but have figured out most of my house lighting issues to date without much help. This one is baffling me though..

I have a lightswitch that turns off/on an outdoor light. I purchased a new outdoor light that has a GCFI outlet and my hope was to plug in a security camera and leave the lightswitch turned on at all times to power both the light and the camera... but it's not working as expected so seeking some help.

The light switch gang has the following wires (see first pic): - Ground Wires - White wires (pretty sure these are neutral as a newer home - they are pigtailed off and not currently used) - Two black wires (I've attached them both to the lightswitch)

The outside gang has three wires (see second pic): - Black (Hot) - White (not sure if this is a neutral or 'load' wire) - Ground

The outside GCFI light has the following wires (see third and fourth pic): - one black, one white and one ground cable going to the bottom of the outlet - one black, one white cable going from the outlet to the light

How do I wire this all up? I initially had it as follows but its not working: - for lightswitch, I just had the two black wires and ground connect to the lightswitch itself (I tried swapping the nut that each black cable was on but didn't seem to fix anything) - for outside light, I connected the ground/black/white cables from the bottom of the gcfi switch to the same colored cables coming from the outside gang.


You can see the pics here: https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electrical-ac-dc/616391-lightswitch-outside-light-gcfi-issues.html#post2834393

  • Be careful. "It works" is not a reliable test; there are lots of hookups that work, but create hazardous situations. There's no substitute for skill, but that can be obtained. As for things "pigtailed off and not used", don't think that. Pigtailed wires are hard at work. Their job just doesn't involve the switch. Apr 17 '20 at 22:08

The load is at the top of the photo this is where the wires to the light go. The line is at the bottom of the outlet this is your incoming hot and neutral.

Why is there black heat shrink on the whites at the GFCI the black on the white is designating the white as a switch leg and it should always be hot, if you put it on take it off.

With switched circuits a switch leg is where the power comes into the lamp not a switch. We use a cable black white to run down to the switch, the white is connected to the black hot so the white is always hot and marked with tape , marker or any means to designate it as the hot. The black is then the switched hot.

Only having 2 cables at the outlet make sure the load goes to the lamp and the line is the incoming power.

With the photos my guess you switched line and load and that won’t work.


It sounds like you had it wired correctly. Did you hit the reset button on the GFCI once you turned the power back on? That may be all you need to do.

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