Bought older home where tenants took various lighting fixtures with them. One was one of the hall lights. Where this fixture was there are three separate 12/2 with ground coming into it. Inside the ceiling box is the following - two black wires are together with wire nuts, a black and white wire are wire nutted together, and there are two white wires that are loose, but the way they are sorted twisted at the end, I'm thinking at one time they were wire nutted together. I'm trying to find out which wires to connect the white and black wires from new fixture to. I'm assuming that since there is a light switch at each end of the hallway, you should be able to turn on/off both lights at the same time from either light switch.

  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes? Dec 12, 2015 at 16:31
  • Is there a second light fixture still in the hall or was it taken also? Can't tell by your question.
    – TFK
    Jan 11, 2016 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


It sounds like a 3 way switch setup, use caution when working with 3 ways because there can be power and the light is off (no return path)and you can get shocked by providing a path to ground. I would start with the 2 loose white wires that are twisted connecting them to the new fixture black and white. then checking positions of switches that is the most likely solution. I have seen 3 ways wired dozens of different ways and this is one.

  • 3
    I would not start that way, best case is you might accidentally hook it up correctly; worst case you could connect phase to phase and cause an arc flash (think fire, burns, equipment damage), or get shocked (think hurt, dead). I recommend getting an AC tester, researching how 3-way circuits work, than systematically testing and identifying each wire before hooking anything up. Nov 11, 2015 at 17:02

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