Please take a look at this kitchen light fixture set up. I replaced the two kitchen lights. I thought it would be a standard easy switch. But I guess I should have taken notes when taking the old ones down.

There are two light fixtures in the kitchen. They are controlled by two light switches, side by side with one double style switch plate. One switch turns on one light, the other switch turns on the other light.

When I put in the two new lights, this one will not turn off. Once the power is on, I can't turn the light off. The other fixture that works properly, has the standard, two black and two white wires, connected to the light fixture.

The one that stays on, (shown) has the two blacks together, two white together, and a red wire. I've tried mixing and matching and no luck. I simply don't know where the red wire is supposed to go so the light can be turned off.

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1 Answer 1


Don't go "mixing and matching" - that can cause some serious problems.

What is most likely the case here is:

  • Black - one incoming power, one down to the switch - they get connected together but not to the light fixture.
  • White - one incoming neutral, one neutral to the switch - they get connected together and to the light fixture neutral.
  • Red - switched hot from the switch - connect to the light fixture hot.
  • 3
    Most likely the case, but best tested out with a meter, or at least a non-contact voltage (NCV) detector. It never hurts to be sure.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 12:46
  • Thanks, Much appreciated.
    – Rick Shaw
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 14:26
  • 1
    @RickShaw additionally, take photos before disconnecting. Its a life-saver.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 0:28

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