I'm installing an IKEA light fixture for the first time, and need some help connecting wires. The fixture has black, green/yellow (striped), and white wires and my Canadian ceiling has green, red, blue, and white wires.

Which ones do I connect to which?

  • 2
    Please tell us where in the world you are. Many countries have different wiring conventions.
    – DaveM
    Apr 4, 2022 at 15:22
  • Location added! Apr 4, 2022 at 15:33
  • 1
    How was the old fixture wired up? Pictures?
    – JACK
    Apr 4, 2022 at 15:40
  • Is this a 3 way switch (2 or more switches controlling the same light) ?
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 4, 2022 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


In the US and Canada, wire colors are:

  • Neutral = White (or occasionally gray)
  • Ground = Green, Green/Yellow or bare
  • Hot = Black, Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, etc.

You appear to have two hot wires in the ceiling. There are a number of possible reasons. One of the most common is for a fan with a light, where a separate switch is used for the fan and for the light. Assuming that is the case, you need to find out which wire (red or blue) is connected to your switch.

(With power off at the breaker, of course...)

Remove the switch cover plate and pull out the switch.

See what color wires are attached.

If there is exactly one of red or blue and one other wire (typically black) then you have your answer. Connect the red (or blue) wire to your light, cap the other with a wire nut, connect whites together, connect grounds together, and you're done.

If the switch has both red and blue, then something else is going on - upload pictures and we'll try to figure it out.

If the switch has neither red or blue, then something else is going on (or you have the wrong switch) - upload pictures and we'll try to figure it out.

  • 1
    Thanks so much for your detailed response, I was able to install my fixture successfully! Apr 4, 2022 at 16:46
  • 1
    Thanks are ok but to show that this was a helpful answer please upvote, or give it a check that you have accepted the answer.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 4, 2022 at 17:03

Odds are good that your ceiling is set up for a fan/light combination.

Green ground/earth, Green/yellow striped.

White neutral - white

Red switched hot/live - black

Blue - probably intended for fan switched hot - isolate.

If all not as expected, try swapping red and blue (isolate red, connect blue to black.) Or save a step there and pull out the switch, tell/show us what those colors are.

If there was a light fixture there before, how that was wired is your best guide when replacing it.

  • Thank you, this is exactly what I did! Apr 4, 2022 at 16:47

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