How Do I Add A Light After A Receptacle?


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Larry Patterson answered
First, plan the route for the cable to run from the new light mounting box to the existing receptacle.  Determine how you are going to switch the light.  If all of that is determined and you are certain you can run the wire and mount the boxes, proceed.


Mount the light box.  Using the same size wire as presently supplies the existing outlet power, run two cables (both 2 conductor with ground) from the light---one to the ex. Outlet location and the other to the new switch location if applicable.

If no separate switch, connect the black and white to the light on one end and black and white to the
existing outlet on the other end.  Usually there are 2 screws on each side of the outlet--put black on black (hot) side and ground to outlet ground screw.  If all screws are in use on the ex. Outlet, you may have to splice wires separately with jumpers to outlet screws.

If you will have a sep. Switch, connect neutral and ground to light (from cable from outlet).  Connect black from outlet cable to black going to switch. Then connect white to hot terminal on light (It is normal practice to put a ring of black electrical tape around the white neutral to designate that it is not a normal neutral wire).  Black and white (black loop of tape on white as above) at switch go one on each switch terminal (doesn't matter which wire on which screw unless designated on switch).  Hookup at he ex. Outlet is the same with either option.

Do the hookup at the ex. Outlet as the last step so power only has to be off for the minimal time but don't forget to shut it off when you get to thet step.

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