How to Wire Halogen Lights

Updated March 20, 2018

Halogen bulbs operate by the same principle as incandescent ones, but they use a different gas mixture that burns at a higher temperature. This gas also reacts with the vaporised tungsten from the filament, redepositing some of it back onto the filament. As a result, halogen bulbs last longer. Because of the high temperature, halogen bulbs are usually encased in quartz, so they look different than regular bulbs. The fixtures for both kinds of bulbs, however, are wired in the same way.

Turn off the power to the circuit.

Remove about 4 inches of sheathing from the house wire with a utility knife. Cut around the circumference of the wire, being careful not to cut into the casings of the wires underneath, and pull off the sheathing with pliers.

Remove about 1/2 inch of casing from the white and black wires. using a wire splicer.

Hold the white wires from the fixture and the house wiring together so the ends are parallel and twist them together clockwise with pliers. Be sure they are firmly connected, then screw on a twist-on wire connector. Twist together the black wires and cap them in the same way.

Twist the ground wires together. You don't need to cap these, but if the electrical box on which the fixture is to be mounted is made of metal, they have to be attached to the ground nut on the box.

Mount the fixture on the box, using the adaptor plate and screws provided with the fixture.


If there is no ground wire in the fixture and it is made of metal, you still have to ground it. A screw should be on the fixture for this purpose, but if there isn't, drill a hole and add one.


Never cut into or splice electrical wires until you are sure the power is off. If you aren't sure, test the wires with a voltage tester. Halogen bulbs are a fire hazard. Never install a halogen fixture near flammable materials, such as curtains. Do not touch halogen bulbs when they are hot and use gloves at all other times. The oil from your hands can cause the bulbs to explode.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Wire splicer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Twist-on wire connectors
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About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.