We are replacing a light that had a pull string on/off with a florescent fixture that we have put a toggle switch on. Question is... How to wire it? The toggle switch has 2 black wires and the wires that are coming in with the power for the light are black and white. We also will be using a pig tail because the toggle switch wire is short. The toggle switch is an off/on, not an on/off/on. This is going in a lower level of the home in West TN.


The white wire (neutral) coming in should be directly connected to the white wire on the lamp.

The black wire coming in is the hot line. The toggle switch is used to either break or connect the hot line. The black wire coming in to the lamp should be connected to one of the black wires of the switch. The other black wire from the switch should be connected to the black wire for the lamp. It does not matter which black switch wire goes to the hot (incoming line) or the fixture black.

While this arrangement will work, it does not comply with current code, which also requires a white wire (neutral) at the switch. Some switches, other than simple toggles, may need a neutral connection and the code tries to ensure that the wiring is available.

Depending on local code, if there is an inspection, you may or may not pass. The neutral has nothing to do with safety, only obsolescence.

Additionally, in a fairly modern, well wired system, there should be ground wires (geen or bare) at all fixtures and switches. If so, connect these as well to each switch and fixture.

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