How to Wire Multiple Light Fixtures to One Switch?

Often when adding a new light fixture in your home, you will want multiple lights set up to the same light switch for greater ease in brightening up the room. This can also be used when setting up the lighting circuit for the first time in a new home. Installing a new light fixture or switch in your home can seem daunting at first, but by breaking it down step by step, it can be a simple task to complete yourself.

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Wire Multiple Light Fixtures to One Switch?

Purchase the wire and accessories at your local home improvement store. For light fixtures, 12-gauge wire, which will be run in a 120-volt circuit, is best. The switch can be connected either with 12/2 wire or 12/3 wire, the second number indicating how many wires are inside, not including the ground wire. The 12/3 is better for switches because it has two hot wires (one black and one red).

Step 2

Select the lights you wish to have connected to your switch and the area you wish to have the switch located. Draw a diagram, trying to make the lines as straight as possible for easier installation.

Step 3

Install a junction box for each light fixture and for the switch. Junction boxes hold all the wire connections and can be made of plastic or metal. For the light fixtures, a junction box with a bracket support would be best to help support the light, especially if a fan or chandelier may replace it at some point in time.

Step 4

Choose to set up this circuit off an existing circuit already running in your home or create a new one from your main supply at the breaker box. If running off an existing circuit, make sure there are not more than 15 loads on the circuit (each light or outlet and switch being one load). If you run wire from an existing circuit, splice the wires together, connecting them with the screw nuts inside a junction box. All the same color wires are connected together.

Step 5

Run the wire to the first light fixture. Allow eight inches of extra wire to hang from the junction box. Run a wire from the light fixture, also allowing eight inches extra to hang from the junction box and then running the wire to the next light fixture. Repeat this for each light fixture, making sure to allow the excess wire to hang from the junction box.

Use the wire stripper to strip 3/4 of an inch off each wire, exposing the copper.

Step 7

Cut extra wire lengths of six inches to create pigtails for completing the circuit for each outlet. Strip the ends on both sides of these wires. The black, white, red and ground wire will all be separated for these pigtails.

For each light fixture, take all the same color wires together in one bunch. Using the screw nut piece, place it over the wires in the bunch and turn it clockwise until it is tightly secured. Pull each wire lightly to make sure it is connected. Repeat the same for each set of wire colors: the white, red, black and ground wire.

Step 9

Take the pigtail wires from each bunch and match them up to the same colors wires from the light fixture. Taking the two wires of the same color (one pigtail and one from the light fixture), use the screw nut piece, placing it on the wire ends and turning it clockwise until it is tightly secured. Then secure the light fixture to the junction box according to the manufacturer's directions for the light fixture.

Step 10

At the last light fixture, take the outgoing wire and lead it down to the light switch junction box. Allow the eight inches excess here as well and strip 3/4 of an inch from the ends.

Step 11

Connect the wires onto the switch. Use the pliers to bend the ends of the wire into a semicircle shape to wrap around the screws. The black hot wire will connect to the gold screw, the white wire neutral to the silver screw, and the copper, or green wire, the ground, to the green screw. Tighten the screws securely over the wire ends.

Step 12

Place the wires and then the switch into the junction box, screwing them tightly into place.