Electrical Wiring in the Home/light doesn't turn off


QUESTION: I just bought a new T8 fluorescent light (2 bulbs) that comes with only a black and white wire.  I tied into an existing incandescent, to have more light in that area of the basement. The incandescent had 3 blacks and 3 whites, so I just wire nutted my black and white to each.  Only one switch controls.  The new lights are bright, but do not turn off with the switch.  The incandescent still does. What should I do differently? Thanks!


Assuming that the existing light has a wall switch, just connect the wire going to the new fixture to the same wires that go to the old fixture.  If the old fixture has a pull chain, you will need to use a new pull chain or wire a wall switch to the new fixture.

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QUESTION: existing light has wall switch.  I wanted to leave the old light in place, but I could just replace it altogether.  At the box where the existing incandescent light is, another wire is tied in that goes somewhere I don't know, up through the floor.  There is also a sensor tied in there, maybe for humidity.  I detached the sensor to reduce my variables. I tried various combinations of connections; one didn't light up; two-incandescent worked with switch on and the fluorescent worked with it off, so they were opposite. 3-one combo worked where all the lights stayed on but stayed dim!

You are going to need to know where the wires go to.  That is why it would have been best to leave things as they were, and just connect the wires for the new light to the exact place the old light fixture was connected to.

The white wire coming from the switch is really a hot wire, so put a piece of black tape on it, to show it is hot.  Connect it to the black wire of the fixture in that box and the black wire going to the fluorescents. Connect all remaining white wires together.  Connect all remaining black wires together.  Connect the grounds together.  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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