How to wire wall lights

Updated February 21, 2017

A wall light is an excellent way to light your room effectively, whether it's for clarity when working or for mood lighting when entertaining. Wiring a wall light utilises basic techniques of wiring and is well within the reach of the weekend do-it-yourselfer when you keep a few simple techniques and principles in mind.

Turn off the power to any circuits you plan to work on. Post a note on the breaker box warning others to leave the power off.

Connect your wiring to the wall light. Use wire nuts to make each connection, twisting together the black to black wires, and the white to white wires.

Run your wiring to the wall switch. In the case of new construction, run the wire along the studs of the wall, connecting it to the wall with cable staples. If there is already plaster or wall board on the wall, fish the wire behind the wall by pushing it along from behind and grasping the end when it appears at the opening for the wall switch. If you're replacing a wall light, it won't be necessary to run new wiring; just use what's already there.

Connect the other end of this wiring run to your wall switch. Connect the black wire to the set-screw terminal on the wall switch; leave the white wire unconnected for the moment.

Connect the wall switch to the main power supply. Connect the black wire leading from the main power supply to the set-screw terminal of the wall switch, and connect the white wire to the white wire coming from the wall light with a wire nut.

Turn the power back on and test the circuit.

Things You'll Need

  • Wall light
  • Wall switch
  • Wire nut
  • Wiring (12-2 electrical wiring)
  • Wire stripper/cutter
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.