How to wire multiple light fixtures on one line

Written by dave donovan
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Wiring multiple light fixtures on one line is a great idea when it comes to illuminating a large space, like a garage or basement. However, the idea of doing it can leave some homeowners scratching their heads with confusion.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Light fixtures
  • NM cable
  • Old work ceiling mountable boxes
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire strippers
  • Romex strippers
  • Wire connectors
  • Electrical tape
  • Drywall saw

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Map out the locations of your light fixtures. You should keep them evenly spaced so the light can be dispersed properly. Mark the locations and use the drywall saw to cut access holes for the ceiling boxes.

  2. 2

    Fish NM cable from the first light fixture (the one where the power feed is located) to the next. Leave about 12 inches of cable hanging out of the access hole. Then, fish cable from the second to the third access hole and so on. Every access hole except the last should have a line entering and exiting.

  3. 3

    Starting at the last light fixture in the line, insert the NM cable into the ceiling box and mount the box.

  4. 4

    Use the Romex stripper to remove the outer sheath on the cable. Then, use the wire strippers to cut away any excess wire and strip about 3/4 of insulation from the end of each wire.

  5. 5

    Connect the black ceiling wire to the black fixture wire, connect the white ceiling wire to the white fixture wire and ground ceiling wire to the fixture's ground wire.

  6. 6

    Wrap electrical tape around each wire connector and mount the fixture to the box.

  7. 7

    Follow Steps 3 through 6 for the remaining light fixtures. For the remaining fixtures, each wire connection will have three wires connected. All three of the black wires (the two in the ceiling and the one on the fixture) get connected together, all of the white wires get connected together, and all of the ground wires get connected.

  8. 8

    Install the light bulbs cover lens for each fixture once they are all installed, turn the breaker back on, and test out your light fixtures.

Tips and warnings

  • Always turn the power off to the circuit you are working on.
  • Be careful not to add too many lights to the circuit, as that will overload the circuit and result in tripped breakers.

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