I just purchased a new ceiling light that uses push connectors rather than bare wires.

My electrical box has two black wires that were originally attached to the previous one black wire of the previous fixture with a wire nut and two white wires that were originally attached to the previous one white wire using a wire not to the old fixture.

How can I connect these wires to the new fixture?

  • 2
    Can you upload a picture showing the new connectors? Mar 10, 2023 at 3:47
  • cut the wires from the push connector and use the wire nut
    – Traveler
    Mar 10, 2023 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


Simply add a pig-tail to the wire nut, then push the other end of the pig-tail into the push connector.

A "pig-tail" is a short section of wire that's added to the existing wire nut. The other end of the wire is stripped bare and is used to connect to "something else". In your case the "something else" will be the push connector of your new fixture.

You don't say were in the world you are, but your mention of "wire nuts" leads me to believe you're in the US. If that's the case, you'll need to use a minimum of 14AWG wire for your short pig-tail (if the light is on a 15A breaker) or, possibly, 12AWG wire (if it's on a 20A breaker). If you're not sure (read the handle on the breaker you turned off before you started this process), your safest bet is to use 12AWG wire, as that's allowed on both a 15A or 20A breaker, but the 14AWG is not allowed on a 20A breaker.

This article* contains this picture which I've updated with some blue arrows to show the "pig-tail" portion of the wiring:

enter image description here

The article does provide a very detailed description of how to wire up a pigtail, so you can get a step-by-step there. Note that in this image, the wire nut on the black wires is pre installation, and not the final installed position. Leaving any bare wire showing (on an insulated wire, not the bare ground wires) is not to code and is asking for a breaker-tripping short circuit.

* This was the first answer in a DuckDuckGo search for "electrical pigtail", no recommendation or endorsement intended or implied.

  • Do you really have to use a 14 or 12 gauge pigtail if the connections are entirely within the light fixture? Because I bet the wire going from the push in connector to the light itself is not 14 or 12 gauge.
    – SteveSh
    Mar 10, 2023 at 13:23
  • 2
    @SteveSh If you supply the wires they must be the minimum size for the breaker, if the wires are supplied by/attached to the light/device and is UL listed then the gauge for those wires can be smaller.
    – crip659
    Mar 10, 2023 at 13:32
  • 2
    @SteveSh the wires that come attached to the fixture are part of the NRTL testing of the device and are approved for use with the device. The wiring inside a lamp is usually not #14 or #12, but they're part of the approved listing, so they're OK. Any wire added must meet UL code for use in wall/box and is not exempted by the UL listing for the device being installed.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 10, 2023 at 13:40
  • 2
    @SteveSh Basically they do not trust you to do it right. They trust a device that has been tested and the length of the wire is the maximum length(but can be shorten, but not lengthen) allowed.
    – crip659
    Mar 10, 2023 at 15:54
  • 1
    Additionally, the wires have been tested at their actual length inside the exact conditions inside whatever electrical appliance their approved for, and it's understood that future versions will be manufactured the same. There's no guarantee that the electrician/DIYer will properly use no more than x amount of #16 in wiring the device to the box and/or decide that #18 is cheaper than #12 so decide to run it through the walls, or...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 10, 2023 at 16:04

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