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I have 3 cables feeding 6 wires into my light box (one cable from the switch/2 from somewhere else), three black wires and three whites. I have old EGC wiring, so I'm ignoring the ground. I tried to add a string of 3 canned lights to a new box above the ceiling, but it didn't work. I THINK I remember that ALL 3 blacks were nutted together with the FOURTH black wire going to the fixture. Likewise, the three whites were nutted together with the FOURTH white wire going to the fixture that hung from the ceiling. After I removed the fixture, I replaced the fixture wires with black and white wires that I strung to the 1st canned light (in a cable) and nutted them together with both the 1st canned light wires and a cable that connected to the 2nd canned light (3 blacks and three whites nutted together at the 1st canned light). Then, I nutted the black and whites from the first canned light with both the black and whites from the 2nd canned light and the black and whites from a cable that connected to the 3rd canned light (3 blacks and three whites nutted together). Then, I nutted the wires from the 2nd canned light with the wires from the 3rd canned light (2 blacks and 2 whites nutted together at the 3rd). Oh, and I connected reversed wires from the switch wire, which means, I nutted the white switch wire to the 2 blacks that lead in to the box and the black leading out to the first canned light (4 wires nutted: 1 white switch-wire nutted to 3 blacks) and nutted the BLACK switch wire to the 2 whites leading-in to the box and the white leading out to the first canned light (4 wires nutted: 1 black switch-wire nutted to 3 whites). I turned on the power and didn't blow up the house, but my new and exiting lights don't work. Please help.

NEW INFORMATION (09/03/2021): Picture: 2 old wires into box from bottom, left. Switch wire entering box from bottom right. New wire to canned lights leaving box at top left. 1. Connected whites from 2 old incoming cables to white wire leading to first canned light. 2. Connected blacks from 2 old incoming cables to white wire from switch. 3. Connected black wire from switch to black wire leading to first canned light.

Canned light wiring (couldn't attach 2 photos). Cable at bottom coming to FIRST CANNED LIGHT from box (just described). Connected 3 whites at first canned light: 1. from cable from box, 2. from canned light fixture 3. from cable connecting to next canned light. Connected 3 black wires the same way.
AT SECOND CANNED LIGHT-connected 3 blacks and 3 whites similarly, but, instead of 3rd wire being from box, it's from cable from second canned light.
AT LAST CANNED LIGHT: Connected whites and blacks from fixture with whites and blacks from cable connected to second canned light.

box

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    Not sure I followed, not all whites and blacks are hot and neutrals, some whites may be a hot and a black as a switched hot, adding lights to the existing lighting circuit should have been as easy as tapping the existing fixture the black and white to the light taken to the new lights.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 2, 2021 at 18:43
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    some formatting would make this much easier to read and follow.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 2, 2021 at 21:11
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    Can you post photos of the insides of all boxes involved please? Sep 3, 2021 at 0:06
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    Well, your description of the switch wiring is describing doing it wrong, and if the breaker didn't trip or the fuse didn't blow, it's probably not even an accurate description of what you actually did. If you did what you said you did, flipping the switch would immediately blow the fuse or trip the breaker.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 3, 2021 at 3:14
  • Can you hit edit on your question and try adding the other photos? Also, I take it the photo that you did add already is of the switch box? Sep 3, 2021 at 22:16

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Try to classify the wires in the box into three categories: Always hot (supply), switched hot, and neutral. Hot wires are normally black, and neutral is normally white.

The cable that goes to the light switch is probably a "switch loop" where the black wire is the always hot supply, and the white wire is a switched hot.

Once you understand the wires in those terms, the wires that need to connect together should be more clear. All the true neutrals will get twisted together, and supply blacks will get twisted together. Then the white switched hot from the switch will get twisted to the black wire of the fixture and the wire going to the other can lights (assuming you want the switch to turn on all the lights).

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  • IF it's grandfathered wiring so a switch loop is allowed, the switch loop white is supposed to be the always-hot in that cable, and is supposed to be re-marked with a hot color, (red, black, etc) at both ends.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 3, 2021 at 3:09

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