This light fixture was capped and has two white lines pigged tailed together with a single orange line wrapped around, two orange lines pigged tailed together, two yellow lines pigged tailed together. There are recessed lighting adjacent to this fixture and the switch box contains a separate switch for the recessed lighting and one for this ceiling fixture.

The fixture that we plan to attach has traditional white, black, and ground.

There does not appear to be a ground wire in the ceiling fixture.

How do I determine what the "hot" line is that I would connect to the black line of the new fixture?

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    Can you post a photo that looks more clearly into the back of the box please? That'd help us figure out the grounding at least...also, a photo of the inside of the switch box would help us figure out what's going on – ThreePhaseEel Nov 10 '20 at 4:12
  • Yes, temporarily remove that steel mounting plate for the shot. Strange things going on in there... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 10 '20 at 17:14
  • Which load does the switch you're holding in your photo control? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 11 '20 at 12:47
  • Those look like 3-way switches, is this light controlled at more than one location? If so, you'll need to pull the electrical tape off of the switch so we can see the color of the screws, and possibly the labeling on the back to identify the hot and the travelers. – FreeMan Nov 11 '20 at 13:15
  • Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer that helped you the most, or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer. – FreeMan Dec 11 '20 at 14:33

It looks like a metal box, with yellow and orange wires it is probably a commercial installation using conduit and the box is the ground in that case. Commercial or building requiring conduit because of the location the colored wires are the hots. White and gray are neutral, green is for ground and every other color is for hot. A condo above 3 stories and some single family homes in locations like Chicago require wiring in conduit.

You will need to identify the color that is switched it may be the orange twisted around the white, I would verify at the switch.

If the orange is on a switch put the black on the orange and white with white. The fixture can be grounded by adding a screw to the mounting plate or box by adding a machine screw (grounding screws are supposed to be green and are usually 10-32 on the box I have seen 8-32 and 6-32 on the mounting ring these are usually shipped with those screws in them.

  • I posted photos with switch and more detail. Very helpful thank you. – GShannon Nov 11 '20 at 5:40

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