How to add outlet from a light fixture?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-28-16, 10:51 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How to add outlet from a light fixture?

Is it possible to add additional outlets from a light fixture from the ceiling? I want to add additional outlets to the side from the light. If not, like to know if I can add it from the light switch.
 
  #2  
Old 12-29-16, 12:26 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
A light is a type of outlet. Do you mean a receptacle? Do you want the receptacle switched with the light or always hot? How you do it depends on where the power comes in. Is it at the light or the switch? If the switch has only a black and white wire power comes in at the light.

Why do you want receptacles on the ceiling? If this is a garage then there are other considerations. The receptacles would need to be GFCI protected but you can't use a GFCI receptacle on a ceiling if it is more than 6'7" high so you would need to provide alternate GFCI protection.
 
  #3  
Old 12-29-16, 06:57 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The light is in the ceiling and I need a receptacle by the wall. It would be too far to wire it from another receptacle in the house. So I thought if it's possible to create a receptacle at the wall by extending it from the light, it would be much closer. And yes, I want the receptacle to always be hot and not controlled by the switch.
 
  #4  
Old 12-29-16, 07:27 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Thanks for the clarification. As previously written you need to determine if power comes in at the light.

Open the switch box. Does the switch box have just two wires, a black and white on the switch and no other wires (except ground). Then power comes in at the light.

However there is one rule that may make your project dead in the water before it starts. If the circuit doesn't have a ground you can't do it. An ungrounded circuit can not be extended because the new circuit must meet current code which requires a ground.
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-16, 07:54 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The switch that controls the light has only three wires (black, white, and ground). I can assumed that the power comes at the light, correct? So, can I extend the power from the light fixture then?

Since the switch has the ground wire, can I assumed that the circuit is grounded?
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-16, 08:00 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
So, can I extend the power from the light fixture then?
Yes, if you have a ground wire.
Since the switch has the ground wire, can I assumed that the circuit is grounded?
Yes, for now but you need to look at the power in cable at the light to be reasonably sure.
 
  #7  
Old 12-29-16, 08:51 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
but you need to look at the power in cable at the light to be reasonably sure.
Thanks, that sounds good. I'll check that.

My next question is, when I extend from the light fixture, how do I make sure that the receptacle will always be hot and not controlled by the light switch?
 
  #8  
Old 12-29-16, 09:19 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
Received 103 Votes on 89 Posts
You would connect to the constant hot, not the switched hot.
 
  #9  
Old 01-09-17, 08:38 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You would connect to the constant hot, not the switched hot.
How do I know which wire is the constant hot? There are the hot (black), neutral (white), and ground wires that are connecting to the light fixture. So which one is the constant hot?

Is this a junction box? Can this be used to add multiple receptacles?

Name:  20161229_220716687_iOS.jpg
Views: 7413
Size:  20.0 KB

All the light fixture has their wire come out of this box.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-11-17 at 08:34 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-09-17, 10:10 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
It is really the hot cable. Disconnect each cable marking where it connects and using a multimeter measure between black and white. The cable that shows ~120v is you power in, AKA hot. (A non contact tester can not be used for this.)
 
  #11  
Old 01-09-17, 01:55 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I saw this Yotube video tutorial. How do I differently from this video so that the receptacle do not get affected by the switch?
 
  #12  
Old 01-09-17, 02:37 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The video shows a situation where power comes in at the switch however you answered earlier
The switch that controls the light has only three wires (black, white, and ground)
So that video does not apply to your situation.
 
  #13  
Old 01-09-17, 03:24 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So, if I connect exactly as the video showed at the light fixture, the switch would not affect the receptacle then, correct?

I'm a bit confused about this whole thing. Yes, at the switch there are the black, white, and ground wires connected and at the light fixture there are also black, white, and ground connected. So, I'm confused as to how the switch controls the light. Are the wires from the switch goes up directly the light fixture to control it? Or, does the light fixture has two sets of Romex wires (one from the switch and one from the power/breaker)?
 
  #14  
Old 01-09-17, 04:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
So, if I connect exactly as the video showed at the light fixture, the switch would not affect the receptacle then, correct?
You don't have the same wiring as in the video so you can not use it as a guide.

Do you have two cables at the light, each with a black and white wire?
 
  #15  
Old 01-10-17, 08:13 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Do you have two cables at the light, each with a black and white wire?
Yes, I have the black and white plus the ground at the light fixture.
 
  #16  
Old 01-10-17, 10:54 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Yes, I have the black and white
That wasn't the question. Do you have two cables for a total of 2 blacks and two whites. If so here is your basic diagram. Note when you add the receptacle cable that will be three cables. "Load" in diagram is your cable to the receptacle.

Name:  Sw_Loopb-1one_Ld.jpg
Views: 8995
Size:  28.8 KB
  • Connect white from receptacle cable to white from power in cable and white from the light.
  • Connect white from switch loop to black from power in and black from receptacle.
  • Connect black of switch loop to black of light.
  • Grounds per code.

White of switch loop cable must be colored black red or any color but gray or green on both ends.
 
  #17  
Old 01-11-17, 06:06 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you so much for the visual illustration. That clears a lot of my confusion. I have to verify the actual wires on the light but from what I've seen so far, there is only one Romex wire (which contains one white, black, and ground) to the light fixture. So, there are NO two blacks and two whites that was why I was so confused.
 
  #18  
Old 01-11-17, 08:34 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
there is only one Romex wire (which contains one white, black, and ground) to the light fixture.
Then that will not work. There is a third box in the mix that the switch cable goes to. You need to find that box and run your receptacle from there. Perhaps the junction box in your previous post.

Attachment 75542
 
  #19  
Old 01-11-17, 09:10 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 959
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, I was curious about this box. All the light connects to this box. Okay, so I have to find out the constant hot wire in this box and connect my receptacle wire to this constant hot wire then, correct?

Thank you.
 
  #20  
Old 01-11-17, 09:47 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Yes, if all the lights come from there that is where you connect the new receptacle cable. That box may be at capacity so you may need to add an extension ring.

Open the box pull the wires out without disconnecting any and post a picture(s) of all the connections.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: