I am replacing a single pendant-type ceiling light with a new pendant fixture that has three individual pendants that go into the single "hood" that attaches to the box in the ceiling. There are two wall switches that control the light on opposing walls. My question is, how are the wires from the three individual pendants wired to single set of wires (black, white, ground)from the box? I understand about ground wire, of course; just not sure about how to configure/join the wires from multiple pendants to the single set from the box. I will have an electrician check once I have done it, just want to know how it is done. Thank youT

  • If it's a new fixture they typically pigtail the sets of wires to one pair for just this reason. Basically it's a black to black, white to white scheme, but for DIYers and such they simplify it. Question, if you are having an electrician "check" it once you're done why not simply have him do it? Once the light is up there's not much for him to see anyway, so why bother? – Speedy Petey Jan 26 '15 at 11:50
  • Because I want to learn how to do it. – Pamela Jan 26 '15 at 21:37

In most modern fixtures that have multiple lamps, the wires are preconfigured going into the hood so that there is only one black (hot), one white (neutral) and one green or bare (ground) wire coming from the fixture to be attached to the wires in the box.

If there are separate wires for the three lamps, all three black wires should be twisted together and connected to the single black wire from the box, capped with a wire nut (and taped if you want added protection). Similarly, all three white wires should be combined with the white wire from the box. And finally all the green/bare wires combined with the ground wire from the box.

The switch wires are already worked into the overall wiring (assuming they were working before) and need not be modified. By the way, when a lamp is controlled from two locations, the switches that control the lamp are called three-way switches.

  • Thank you. I appreciate your answer. The second paragraph applies to my situation and you made this very understandable Again, thanks!! – Pamela Jan 26 '15 at 17:05

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