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I am replacing my ceiling lights and needed a suggestion on how to ground my wire. The current ground wire from the old light is connected to the old bracket and because of the way its connected, I can't seem to remove it because it isn't a screw. The old bracket fits the new light though. Can I remove the ground wire from the new light and attach it to the old bracket? If not, is it best to cut the wire from the old bracket and then use a wire nut to connect both. Thanks for any suggestions

The orange connector is how I'm connecting the ends if that is relevant

Here are some pictures to kind of show my issue.

Existing wiring from old fixture

New fixture's wiring

3 Answers 3

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I rarely recommend cutting a wire, but in this case, go for it. Cut the wire right near the rivet.

The trick with your application is that most people have the yellow, red or tan wire nuts, and you need the smaller blue or orange sizes to effectively splice the old fixture's wires to the new fixture's wires. Just grab a variety pack of wire nuts for a couple of bucks at the store.

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  • From the question: "then use a wire nut to connect both". I'd say the answer to your intro question is "yes"...
    – FreeMan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 12:08
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The bracket needs to stay grounded. Take the wire nut off the bundle of ground wires, add the (new) fixture ground wire, twist wire nut back on. Done.

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  • If I wanted to use the bracket that was provided with the new fixture, how would I be able to ground that? The only grounded cable one provided is the one that is already attached to the fixture and the instructions don't show needing to ground their bracket. Would that mean the bracket wouldn't need one then?
    – Kush
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:21
  • @Kush Follow the ground wire back from the old bracket to the wire nut that joins the grounds. (The one on the right in your photograph.) Remove that wire nut, remove the old ground wire, twist the new ground wire from the new fixture onto the other grounds, reinstall the wire nut, and give the new ground wire a good tug to ensure that it doesn't just slip out.
    – HABO
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:48
  • @HABO Sorry didn't clarify here. So I figured out about the how to ground the fixture to the wire nut on the right. But the new bracket does not have a ground wire screwed into it like the old one from my picture. Only the new fixture does directly screwed in. Would that be okay if the new bracket does not have an area for a ground wire? I guess i'm just wondering if the one ground wire from the fixture straight into the wire nut is enough? Thanks
    – Kush
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:53
  • @Kush Please post a photo of the bracket provided with the new fixture, and also describe how you plan to hook up the black and white wires from the new fixture? I see no other end of the orange connector, just stripped wire ends.
    – Armand
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:59
  • Yes, the grounded fixture will ground the bracket when they are both installed. The goal is to ground metal bits that someone might touch in (more or less) normal use. Various designs of brackets, fixtures and metallic boxes have at least one element grounded with the others grounded by being attached to one another. Since your electrical box is non-metallic there needs to be a ground wire to either the fixture or bracket. The designers of the old light went one way, the new one the other.
    – HABO
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:59
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There doesn't appear to be any reason to use the bracket from the first picture with the light in the second picture.

  • Unscrew the wire nut holding the ground wires (pointed to by the big purple arrow)
  • remove the stranded ground wire for the old bracket, discard the old bracket
  • insert the stranded ground wire from the new fixture
  • tighten the wire nut and tug on each ground wire to ensure they're properly captured by the nut

OP's original image showing the wiring for the fixture with the wire nut for the grounds highlighted.

Voila! Your new fixture is grounded.


Bonus tip:

Unless the matching half of that orange connector is in the box with your new fixture, there's no reason at all to use it. You can simply remove the white/black wires from the orange connector their respective wire nuts and insert the white/black leads from the fixture. You will need to strip some more insulation off of them to get them to properly clamp under the wire nuts.

If, however, you do have the mating part of that orange plug and it's a simple clamp-down (or other easy) system to get the wires into it, then by all means, do use it.

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