Help! Wall fixture


Old 05-08-04, 08:58 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 25
Help! Wall fixture

I've changed several lighting fixtures, but am now stumped.

I had a two-light fixture over my bathroom mirror. I bought a one-light fixture to replace it.

There are two white, two black and one red wire coming out of the wall and of course only one white and one black on the new lighting fixture.

I opened the wall switch, and there are two black wires joined and attached to the switch box.

There are two white wires connected to each other only. There is a red wire also attached by the screw to the switchbox.

No matter what combination of joining wires I used, the results were either - the light could not be turned on, or light comes on and can't be turned off.

I never attached the red wire in the wall to anything in my attempts.

What can I do??
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Old 05-09-04, 07:13 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 2,691
First of all, make sure the Black wire is capped off. Then attach the Black from the fixture to the Red in the wall, and the White to White (fixture to wall.)

Seems odd that you have 12/3 running to a light fixture, but it could be that you have a switched outlet or fan or God only knows what else wired up.

The Red wire is definitely your switched wire though.

Good luck!
Old 05-10-04, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The only sure-fire algorithm is to attach your new fixture to the same wires as the old fixture was attached to, without changing any other connections. For many people, however, that's not possible because they didn't carefully record the connections before removing the old fixture.

Having said that, SafeWatch is most likely correct. Connect your light's black wire to the red wire, and your light's white wire to the two white wires. Leave the two black wires in the box connected only to each other and not to the fixture.

12/3 is probably used because power comes first to the fixture, then to the switch, and then on to other things. You need the extra red wire to return switched power to the light.
Old 05-11-04, 06:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 25
Thank you! I will try this first thing tomorrow. And no - there is nothing else connected with this switch - just a single wall fixture in a tiny powder room.

I will let you know if it works. Thanks again!!
Old 05-12-04, 09:56 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 25
It worked! Thankyouthankyou!!!! Very good point about checking how the old fixture was connected - I'll be sure to do that in the future!

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