Installing two ceiling lights controlled by one switch

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  #1  
Old 07-12-08, 08:24 PM
U
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Installing two ceiling lights controlled by one switch

SITUATION: I'm trying to install two ceiling light fixtures controlled by one switch. The two ceiling outlet boxes were covered and there were no fixtures ever installed on them. By the way, this is new home in California built in 2006.

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Outlet Box 1 (OB1): 1 black wire, 1 white wire, 1 bare copper wire.

Light Fixture (LF1): This ceiling light fixture has two lights, so there are two black wires, two white wires and 1 bare copper wire.

For the OB1+LF1, I connected all the black wires together, all the white wires together, the bare copper wires were connected to the green ground screw on the mounting bracket.

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Outlet Box 2 (OB2): 2 sets of black/white wires, 1 bare copper wire.

Light Fixture 2 (LF2): This ceiling light fixture has two lights, so there are two black wires, two white wires and 1 bare copper wire.

With the two sets of wires coming out of OB2, I assumed I needed make a switched loop connection, so I used a voltage tester to determine which set of wires was for power and which set was for the switch.

Therefore, I connected the black wire from power to the white wire from switch. The white wire from power connected to the white wires of the LF2 and the black wire from switch connected black wires from LF2.

The bare copper wires were connected to the green ground screw on the mounting bracket.

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RESULT: The lights in both fixtures are very dim and flicker (I'm using the energy saving type bulbs). I did test the switch and the lights turn on/off with the switch, so that is working. I tried using eco-friendly 40 W bulbs (fixture requires 60 W Max bulbs), but the lights are still dim and/or flicker. I tried using regular light bulbs and they are still dim.

Any suggestions or ideas what I'm doing wrong? Could I possibly not have a switched loop connection? Maybe this circuit cannot handle two light fixtures that have two bulbs?
 
  #2  
Old 07-12-08, 09:52 PM
J
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Your assumption of a switch loop was wrong (assumptions are always unwise, and can be quite dangerous). You can verify this by looking at the wiring at the switch. A switch loop is characterized by a white wire connected to the switch. When you look in your switch box, you will find no white wire connected to the switch.

At OB2, simply connect all black wires together, and the connect all white wires together.
 
  #3  
Old 07-13-08, 09:46 AM
U
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Hi John, thanks for the help. Your suggestion worked like a charm and all is well.
 
 

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