Farther fixture I moved in to a home, last person took their light fixtures with them. One pair of light fixtures are attached to a switch.

The fixture box closer to the switch has ground/copper, two white wires nutted, two black wire nutted, two red wires nutted.

The fixture box farther from the switch has ground/copper, two white wires nutted, two black wire nutted, one red wire nutted.

Which wires should I be connecting to my light fixtures in each box? Closer Fixture box

  • Picture of how the switch/es are wired also(power off) will help.
    – crip659
    Apr 18, 2023 at 22:21
  • @crip659 added, thanks
    – Ram
    Apr 18, 2023 at 22:29
  • did you buy your home? ... if you did, then get after the real estate agent right away, to have the fixtures replaced ... usually the fixtures are considered to be part of the structure and removing them amounts to theft, because you may be the rightful owner
    – jsotola
    Apr 19, 2023 at 1:06
  • @jsotola I have heard (but rarely) of people taking fancy chandeliers with them when they sell their house. But it would not make any sense at all in a rental - landlord would be obligated to provide light fixtures, so I think it is a safe assumption "bought the house so OK to do basic electrical". Apr 19, 2023 at 1:08
  • @jsotola thank you for the thoughtful advice. I bought the house and the sconces where addressed
    – Ram
    Apr 19, 2023 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


You want to hook your fixtures to the red wires, the white wires and the bare copper wire in each box. The red will be your switched hot, the white will be your neutral and the bare copper will be your ground. Remove the wire nuts from the red group and single red and attach your fixture wires, probably black. Remove the wire nut from the white groups and attach your fixtures white wire. If your fixtures have a ground wire or screw, attach them to the bare copper wire.

  • I'm trying to figure out what the black wires would be for. Is there another switch for a 3 way?
    – JD74
    Apr 19, 2023 at 0:56
  • 2
    Black wires are carrying power through, to the switch (where it comes back on red) and possibly on to other places. Apr 19, 2023 at 1:07
  • 1
    Very informative comment @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact - thanks for that
    – Ram
    Apr 19, 2023 at 3:50

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