How to wire fluorescent light fittings

Written by steve bradley
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How to wire fluorescent light fittings
Always cut the power to a fixture before working on it. (plug image by Bube from

Fluorescent lights are long-lasting and environmentally friendly. While a bit more expensive at the outset than traditional light fixtures, they will pay for themselves over time. Installing a new fixture is a job even the novice do-it-yourselfer can handle. The job mainly entails wiring the ballast to the electrical box, which can be done with just a few simple tools and about a half-hour of time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver set
  • Wire nuts
  • Wire strippers

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  1. 1

    Ensure that there is no power coming from the electrical box wires. Cut the power at the fuse box or circuit breaker.

  2. 2

    Locate the wires coming from the electrical box. There will be a black hot wire and a white or grey ground wire. Cut back the insulation on each wire about 1 inch and then twist the copper wires a couple of times to make a tight bundle.

  3. 3

    Locate the ballast from the fluorescent light fixture. This will be a small black box with two wires coming from it. Cut back the insulation on the two wires just like you did for the two from the electrical box.

  4. 4

    Connect the ballast wires to the house wires. Match black to black and white to white twisting the like wires together. secure each connection with a wire nut. Twist the nut over the combined copper wires.

  5. 5

    Install the cover or housing of the fixture over the wiring. Insert the fluorescent tubes and turn on the power to the fixture.

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