After turning off my breaker, I recently removed an old ceiling fan only to discover a junction box with two white wires and two black wires and a bare copper wired (GND). Upon removing the fan, I noticed that the four halogen lights in the room didn't work anymore...

I installed a brand new light fixture, no fan, (the two whites from the box with the white from the fixture, and the two blacks from the box with the black from the fixture), grounded it and voila, the four halogens now turn on and the light fixture as well... but noticed that the switch only turns off the four halogens and not the light fixture light. In fact, no matter what I do, that light fixture's light always remains remains on.

I checked with my volt meter and found that one of the black wires in the junction box is always hot while the other is regulated by the switch. I looked in the switch box, and to my surprise, I found:

A white and black wire tied together with a wire nut, and another white, black and red attached to the switch itself. So the black and white wire are not attached to the switch itself, but a freely hanging beside it.

I want to be able to at least turn on the four halogens and the light fixture with the switch. Ideally, however, I would like for the light fixture and the ceiling lights to turn on and off independently with a double switch...

To be honest, I've fooled around with this a little too much and I'm planning on hiring an electrician to finish the job, though I would like to get an input on how this could be done regardless. Any input is greatly appreciated!


The left switch is for the outside porch light. The right one is for the ceiling lights.

  • 1
    Can you post photos of the inside of the switch box please? – ThreePhaseEel May 25 at 11:21
  • There's a few things you are leaving off. First, the switch which operates the halogens is a different switch than the switch that operates the fan. Second, the halogens only quit working when you split the black and white wires up in there from each other. Third, the fan switch was actually a pull-chain on the fan. And your new light does not have a pull chain. Am I right? – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 25 at 13:12
  • The fan is gone. I'm installing a chandelier fixture and there is only a single switch on the wall. – Dimitri May 25 at 13:40
  • 1
    @ThreePhaseEel I posted pictures of the wall switch. The left one turns on the porch light while the other is what controlled the ceiling halogens. Mind you, if I remove the red wire from the switch, no power is provided to the ceiling halogens... if I wire it back, lights come on. – Dimitri May 28 at 0:13
  • 1
    @Dimitri -- I can tell that the halogens were controlled from two switches at some point as the switch on the right is most definitely a 3-way switch... – ThreePhaseEel May 28 at 4:00

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