This page contains wiring diagrams for adding a new light fixture using an existing receptacle as the source. Diagrams include adding a light from a switched receptacle and tapping an always-hot outlet. Different wiring schemes are included to allow for either the light, or the switch to come first in the circuit.
It is the responsibility of the user of this information to know and understand the NEC (National Electrical Code) as it applies to them, as well as any local regulations or laws that may pertain. While many jurisdictions do adopt the standards of the NEC, some may have requirements in addition to, or exemptions from those standards.
The information on this page is intended to aid in electrical wiring projects that become necessary when doing DIY home improvements and repairs. Some of the diagrams here are for older circuits that may not adhere to the latest code updates. When running a new circuit be sure to use the latest approved wiring arrangements. We cannot assume responsibility for personal injury or property damage as a result of using the information provided here.
In the diagrams on this website the brass colored terminals on the devices represent the hot side of the circuit and the silver colored terminals represent the neutral side. Green is used to denote ground wires and terminals. Not all outlet boxes or older devices will have a grounding terminal. When running new wiring the ground wires should be spliced with a short piece of wire to connect to each device that has a grounding terminal, and to any grounding terminals in the outlet boxes. Also be aware that the white wire may be use to carry current in some household circuits, in these cases it should be marked with black electrical tape to indicate it is hot.
The wiring in this diagram is for adding a new light fixture to a switched receptacle, i.e. one that is hot only when a switch is on. These are commonly used to turn a table or floor lamp on and off from a wall switch.
New 2-wire cable is run from the receptacle to the new light fixture. At the receptacle the wires are removed and each one is spliced to the new cable and back to the receptacle with a pigtail splice. At the light fixture box the black wire connects to the hot terminal, the white connects to the neutral terminal and the ground to any metal grounding terminal on the fixture, outlet box, or both.
This drawing shows the wiring for adding a new light fixture using an always-hot receptacle outlet as the source. New cable is run from the receptacle to the new fixture location and a switch loop cable is run from there to the new switch location.
The always-hot wire from the receptacle is spliced to the black wire on the fixture cable, and to a pigtail that connects back to the hot terminal on the receptacle. At the light fixture box the black is spliced to the black from the switch cable. At the switch box the black wire is connected to the bottom terminal on the new switch.
Back at the source, the white neutral wire is spliced to the white from the fixture cable and to a pigtail, back to the receptacle neutral terminal. At the fixture the white connects to the neutral terminal on the light. The hot terminal on the light is connected to the red wire from the switch loop cable and the other end is connected to the top terminal on the switch.
This diagram is similar to the one above, but the switch comes before the new light in the circuit. New cable is run from the receptacle to the new switch location and from there to the light location. The switch may also be added in the the same box with the receptacle as in the diagram at this link. Where the two are installed in a double-gang electrical box.
The neutral wire in this circuit is taken from the receptacle and spliced to the white on the new cable, and to a pigtail that runs back to the receptacle. The hot is spliced to the black cable wire and a pigtail back to hot on the receptacle.
At the switch, the other end of the black wire is connected to the bottom terminal on the switch and the black wire going to the new light is connected to the top terminal. The white wire from the receptacle is spliced to the white wire going to the light, it doesn't connect to the switch at all. At the light the black wire connects to the hot terminal on the fixture and the white goes to the neutral terminal.