I am replacing light fixtures in the bathroom from one fixture that was part of a medicine cabinet to 2 separate fixtures. The fixtures have 3 connections - black, white and copper which I have connected. I connected the lights and they come on but do not go off when I turn the switch off. They only go off when I turn off the breaker.The switch has 3 connections - 3 black tied together, red, and 2 white tied together. The black and red wires are connected to the switch and the white wires are capped together. There is also a red wire in the box for the light that is capped. How should it be wired so the switch controls the lights?

  • Welcome to Home Improvement. Please edit your post to include some clear, focused pictures of how you've got this new switch wired - pics of both sides of the switch showing the wires leading into the box, and pics of the wiring inside the box. Also, show pics of the wiring connections of the two new lights. Is the new switch wired exactly the same as the old switch? Is there more than one switch that controlled these lights? Was the red wire connected to anything in the original wiring situation?
    – FreeMan
    Aug 19, 2020 at 11:39
  • What else does the switch control? Is there a bathroom fan? Any insight on where that red wire goes? Aug 19, 2020 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


The red is your switched-hot, so connect the black from your fixture to that

It appears that your switch was wired so that always-hot could be passed along to downstream lighting outlets while providing a switched-hot at those outlets as well, while power comes in at the switch. So, you need to turn the breaker off and move the black wire from the fixture over to connect with the red wire from the ceiling instead of the black wires. Then you can button the fixture back up, turn the breaker back on, and enjoy your new switch!

  • That would be true if a new home but I wired many bathrooms with x3 cable as switch loops so the fan and light could be on separate switches.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 19, 2020 at 13:05
  • @EdBeal -- I misread the OP, thanks for pointing that out Aug 19, 2020 at 22:45

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