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I am installing a new light fixture. To the light fixture I have three wire Romex (hot, neutral, and ground) and the same thing at the light fixture.

However, the light fixture has a metal plate that is meant to connect to the box with a ground screw.

As I see it there are three options:

  1. Connect the light's ground with the Romex ground

  2. Connect the light's ground to the metal plate, leaving the Romex's ground not connected.

  3. Connect the light, Romex, and a pig tail, and then connect the pig tail to the metal plate.

Those are simply the permutations, and I think 2 is a bad option.

What say those more knowledgeable?

As a bonus to this, on one of the lights I am going to continue the circuit and install a outlet after the light. Obviously this outlet will be controlled by the switch that controls the light. Does this change how the ground should be connected?

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All metal boxes must be grounded, so you must connect your NM-B/Romex to the metal box.

From there, connect the light fixture according to the installation instructions. If the fixture ground is to be connected to the hanging bar which is, in turn, connected directly to the metal box, that's probably sufficient, but again, follow the installation instructions. They're part of the UL (or other NRTL) approval of the product.

Having a switched outlet after the light only means that the grounds from both NM-B cables (incoming and outgoing) must be connected to each other and to any/all metal boxes involved.

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