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I have two wafer lights connected to a switch at the end of a circuit. Here's what my diagram looks like this.

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I replaced the 2 wafer lights about a week ago and they worked fine. They stopped working a day ago. I disconnected the wafer light and plugged it in another area and it worked well (which indicated that the light fixtures are fine). I even used the non-contact pen tester and it looks like there is power coming into the j box for the wafer light. I also noticed that wafer light 2 turns on super dim when I turn on the light switch. I believe my load/hot coming from wafer light 1 to the J box should be connected to the hot/black wire from the outlet as well as wafer light 2 along with the white wire from the light switch. Am I right?

I'm totally confused and could use some help in terms of what i'm doing wrong.

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  • "the "from source" is actually coming from another wafer light controlled through the same switch. " - I'm confused by this, could you post a diagram of what you actually have, showing actual lights and switches? You write about 2 new wafer lights but then disconnect "the" wafer light - a diagram will get us all on the same page.
    – Armand
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 7:21
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    If a light worked elsewhere, perhaps the connection was poor where it failed. Could you post photos of your connection method (e.g. wire nuts) - are you sure they are good tight connections?
    – Armand
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 7:23
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    Please add photos of what you've actually got in your junction box(es), not example pics of what you should have or think you have. If your wiring did actually match what's in those pics then it would (almost certainly) work.
    – brhans
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 13:35
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    Posting pictures of the actual wiring (and not a diagram of what you think it is) would be most helpful. Share pics of the j-box, and the wires in the outlet, switch and the connections to both lights. Sometimes, when you're so familiar with the problem, you see what you think it should look like, and not what it actually is. I'm quite guilty of that on occasion...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 11:44

1 Answer 1

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I added 2 new wafer lights to it about a week ago and they worked fine. They stopped working a day ago out of the blue. I disconnected the wafer light and plugged it in another area and it worked well (which indicated that the light fixtures are fine).

So, you have a bad connection. It worked until it fell apart, and then it stopped working. You need to make all the connections good, and then they will stay connected and keep working. Note also that you are referencing an outdated diagram illustrating a switch loop that hasn't been legal to install that way for more than a decade.

Bad connections are common for people inexperienced with using wire nuts / Marrettes.

By Junkyardsparkle - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30824712

You either learn to wind those up tight enough, or you can use a "frendlier to less experienced people" connector like a Wago leverlock.

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  • If my connection was faulty, wouldn't my fixture not have any power coming in? Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 19:52
  • Could you also please share how I should be wiring my switch since the way I have it installed isn't legal? Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 19:55
  • Since NEC 2011, you need neutral at every switch location (for sensor or smart switches, whether or not you have them now) so (if using NM/B as illustrated) you need a /3 cable if using a switch loop - black, red, white and ground. White must be neutral. Conventionally, black is then unswitched hot and red is switched hot. That part is convention, not code, though. An alterative is to not use a switch loop, and bring power (unswitch hot, neutral and ground) to the switch location first, then run /2 cable form there to the lights (with switched hot on black, in that case.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 2:42
  • As for the other, it depends where the bad connection is. It's quite possible for a loose connection to reconnect when you take out the light and move wires. Or it was the connections to the light you removed that failed. Also, non-contact testers are of limited use in solving a loose connection, as they are easily fooled by things that won't run a lightbulb, not even and LED one.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 2:44
  • See also diy.stackexchange.com/a/31710/18078 regarding switch loops.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 3:03

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