I replaced an old chandelier (worked fine before removed) with a new chandelier. Also, I replaced the toggle wall switch with a Luton 1000 Watt Dimmer Switch because my light has 18 rods extended from the ball of the light that requires 18 40 watt bulbs. In the ceiling I have 2 neutral white wires, 2 black hot wires and 2 grounds. The light switch has 1 neutral/1 black/1 ground wire. The lights will not turn on or off by the switch. My home was built in 1957 but has some updated wiring. I've tried capping off white/white, black/black and the ground but with no success. Please help!

  • 1
    How were the original devices wired? Sounds like you may have connected the light to constant power, instead of through the switch.
    – Tester101
    Oct 6, 2015 at 14:40
  • 1
    This is an important lesson for taking a picture of the old wiring before disassembling. Split the wiring in the light to the two separate white/black sets and find out which is the feed. The other should go to the switch and should be wired accordingly. Let us know what you find out.
    – paulmz
    Oct 6, 2015 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Based on the information you gave, one white/black pair in the ceiling box is the incoming power, and the other white/black pair goes to the switch. You need to determine which pair is which. Connect the chandelier to one pair and turn the breaker back on. If the chandelier lights up, that's the incoming power, and the other pair should be the switch. If you have a continuity tester, you can hook it up to what should be the switched pair (with the breaker off again) and verify that you have continuity when the white and black wires going to the dimmer are touched together. Turning the dimmer on and off may not be enough to get a reading on the tester - the wires need to be touching.

Once the pairs are identified as incoming and switched, the ceiling box should be wired as follows. Connect the incoming white wire to the white wire of the chandelier. The incoming black wire should be connected to the switch black wire, and the switch white wire should connect to the black wire of the lamp. You should also wrap black electrical tape around the white switch wire since it is playing the role of a black wire. This "marks" the wire as black for anyone looking at it later. The same should be done for the white wire at the switch. It should not matter how the wires are connected to the dimmer.

Edit: Now that I search for an image, this appears to be a possible duplicate of: How to properly wire a ceiling light fixture? Which has some handy diagrams. I suspect what you have is the first picture, and what you need is the second picture:

Correct ceiling wiring

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.