Wiring an Extra Light

Wire an Extra Light

When you are trying to add an extra lighting fixture or even a switch in your house, it may look like a difficult task to accomplish. However, if you start to learn the correct way in resolving the task step by step, it would be as simple as counting one, two and three.

What you need:

  1. Pliers
  2. 12-gauge wire which will be run in a 120-volt circuit (for light fixtures)
  3. 12/3 wire that comes with 2 hot wires (one black and one red for the switch)
  4. Junction boxes
  5. Wire stripper
  6. Screw nuts
  7. Staple gun
  8. Drill
  9. Switch


  1. Choose the lights that you want to connect to the switch and its location. Next, you need to install a junction box for each light fixture and for the switch. The junction boxes (made of either plastic or metal) are used for holding all the wire connections. Use a junction box with a bracket support for your light fixtures so that it will help support the light.
  2. You should choose to set up this circuit from your existing circuit running in your house or even create a new one from the main supply through your breaker box. When using existing circuit, you must ensure that there is not more than 15 loads that are being used on the circuit where each light or outlet and switch are loaded. When you choose to run the wire from an existing circuit, you have to splice the wires together in order to connect them with the screw nuts inside your junction box.
  3. To run the wire to the first light fixture and allow at least eight inches of extra wire to hang from your junction box. After that, run a wire from the light fixture and let loose about an eight inches extra to allow it to hang from the junction box before continuing to run the wire to the next light fixture. Then, repeat this step for each of your light fixture and also ensure to allow its excess wire to hang from the junction box.
  4. To strip 3/4 of an inch off each wire, use wire stripper to expose the copper inside.
  5. Cut an extra wire length (six inches) to create pigtails for completing the circuit of each outlet. Then, strip the ends on both sides of your wires where the black, white, red and ground wire will be separated for the pigtails.
  6. For the light fixture, take all the wires with the same color together in a bunch. By using a screw nut piece, you need to place it over the wires and then turn it clockwise. Continue to pull each wire lightly and test its connection before proceeding with the same steps for each set of wire colors such as the white, red, black and ground wire.
  7. Then, take the pigtail wires from each of the bunch; match them up according to the same color wires from the light fixture. Take two wires, one from the pigtail and one from the light fixture. Once again, use the screw nut piece and place it on the wire ends and turn it clockwise until it is secured tightly before securing the light fixture onto your junction box.
  8. When you reached the last light fixture, you should take out the outgoing wire and lead it down onto the light switch junction box before allowing up to eight inches excess from the wire and strip 3/4 of an inch from the ends.
  9. To connect wires to the switch, use pliers to bend the wire\’s end making it into a semicircle shape to wrap around the screws. Ensure that the black hot wire connects to the gold screw, the white wire is neutral to the silver screw and take the copper or green wire (the ground) connect to the green screw and make sure all screws are tighten.
  10. Finally, you have to place the wires and then the switch into the junction box before screwing them tightly.

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Additional Reading:

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Wiring: Upgrade Your Main Service Panel – Discover the Latest Wiring Products – Complies with 2008 NEC (Black & Decker Complete Guide)

Complete Wiring (Stanley Complete)