I bought a used light fixture. It has three black wires, three white wires, and a ground wire. The electrical wires coming from my wall only have one white wire and one black wire. How do I safely connect the new light fixture wiring to the wall wiring?

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  • 1
    Is it a wall sconce? A picture clearly showing the wires and the wall mounting will help.
    – jay613
    May 12, 2023 at 15:33
  • Presumably it's a wall sconce with 3 bulbs? Please do edit in a picture or two, it would help.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 12, 2023 at 16:44
  • Yes, it is a wall sconce with three bulbs. I tried to attach pictures but I can’t. Thanks for your help. I got it to work.
    – Kimberly
    May 12, 2023 at 19:10
  • 2
    if it has 3 bulbs, and 3 of each wire, maybe there's a connection here?
    – njzk2
    May 13, 2023 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


The usual way is to connect all blacks together with a wire nut/wago connector and do the same with all the whites.

The ground wire from the light can be attached to the metal box. There might be a small screw on the base of the box.


Simply wire it as crip659 suggests. But if you're wondering why... it's a 3-bulb fixture and they are separating out wires for each bulb, to give you more versatility in connecting it e.g. to different circuits.

For instance, you might wire it with 2 bulbs on the normal circuit and one (e.g. smaller) bulb on an emergency power circuit, or simply as a night-light circuit that turns on after dark and gives minimal hall lighting just for safety. Or if it's used in the foyer of a 3-unit building (I lived in one of these), each tenant gets their own light switch inside their unit, that operates 1 of the bulbs each.

  • 2
    Or you could have 2 bulbs connected to one switch, and then that switch and the third bulb connected to a second switch as a sort of high/low dimming option, without needing dimmers or dimmable bulbs. May 13, 2023 at 9:48

Use a standard screw terminal, as for any light fixture: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Leuchterklemme_75dpi.jpg

Usually the input goes on one side, the output (the 3 wires you have) go on the other side.

One channel for white, one channel for black, one channel for ground if you have it.

But, those colors are not what I would expect, so I suspect you're in a different country.

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