Swapping a hallway light fixture attached to 2 3-way switches, (each end of the hallway). When I dropped the fixture from the ceiling, the box has 2 black wires that are wire nutted, 2 red wires that are wire nutted, and 2 white wires connected to the single bulb fixture, and 2 grounds twisted together. The new fixture is 2 bulbs with each bulb having 1 black and 1 white wire, one bulb has the ground. How do I wire the new fixture please? [current wire configuration in box]

  • 1
    Can you upload a photo of this? It sounds incorrectly wired, just want to be sure.
    – JamieRI
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 18:13
  • @JamieRI The colours might be used for the wrong use, but three way switches/wiring is different and usually confusing. White wire can be used for hot in switch wiring, but it is suppose to be marked with black(or red) colour. You are lucky if the one before you did that.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 18:27
  • @John The picture has not appeared yet.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


If you have not undone the wires to the old fixture yet, place black tape/paint/marker on the white wire connected to the old light's black wire.

The new lights black wires will be connected to the white(power) wire with black marking.

The other two whites from the new light connected to the other white(neutral) wire.

If you have already disconnected the wires from the old light, you should use a multi-meter to find which white wire is the power one.

This is done by finding which white wire reads ~120 volts to the ground wires. The neutral(other white) should read 0 volts to ground.

  • 2
    The general answer is that the new fixture attaches exactly as the old fixture did, so always make notes/take pictures, and disconnect only what MUST be disconnected to replace the fixture. Following those rules will save you a lot of trouble; if it all worked before, connecting exactly the same way should all work after.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 16:43

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