enter image description hereI am trying to install a wall sconce with 2 bulbs. The old sconce only had one bulb.

The new fixture has two sets of wires: 2 white, 2 black, 1 ground.

The junction box has 2 complete sets of wires: 2 white, 2 black, 2 ground.

Of course I did not pay attention when removing the old sconce. I previously connected it (somehow) and the light turned on, but did not respond to the switch. (it turned on, stayed on, and didn't turn off when flipping the switch.

How do I deal with this? enter image description here

  • We'll need some pictures of the switch box and you'll have to tell us which wires are hot
    – JACK
    Jul 1 at 13:40
  • 1
    Note that according to code, your bare ground wires must also be screwed to the metal box. One of the holes in the back of the box will be sized for a 10-32 ground screw. You can buy a pack of green 10-32 screws, or just pick up some short "metal" colored ones. You'll want to add a pig tail of bare wire to the ground wire nut and screw that to the box.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 1 at 15:47
  • Was there a black and white joined together that were in the back of the box and not connected to the light? If so why did you separate them and add a nut? Are there other lights also controlled by this switch? Jul 1 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


One set of wires in the junction comes from the panel(power), the other set goes to the switch(or should).

With the wires separated as shown in the picture and the breaker off, remove the wire nuts on the black wires.

Turn the breaker on, and with a multimeter see which black has power, should read ~120 volts between the black and ground(or neutral if you want remove that nut also).

The other set will be for the switch.

Once the switch wires are found, place black tape on the white wire.

Nut the white wire with tape to the black power wire, the black switch wire is nutted to the black light wires, the white light wires are nutted to the white(neutral) of the power wire.

All the grounds are connected together and to the box.

Turn on the breaker and light should work with the switch.

  • This makes total sense and I’ll try it later today. Thank you for the great guidance!!
    – Brett
    Jul 2 at 17:34

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