Best Answer
for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz supply service.If you are asking about how to take power from an existing wall outlet to add a

new light switch somewhere nearby - either in the same room or in the next room

which is just on the other side of the wall containing the wall outlet - you'll need to

run a new set of wires from the socket outlet to a new fused wall switch and another

set of wires from that new switch to the new lighting fixture.


A) Before you start, be sure to check the electrical wiring code for your locality (town/state) because the new wiring MUST comply with the safety requirements stated in that wiring code. Some localities will allow this work to be done by an amateur as a DIY job but others will insist that it must be done only by a licensed electrician, especially if the room or location in which the new lighting fixture is to be used will be subject to humid conditions of any kind. This means any place where there is a piped water supply, such as in a kitchen, bathroom, shower room, laundry room, etc. or any outside location such as the yard/garden outside the house. In other words, anywhere where the walls, floor or ceiling are subject to water spray, damp conditions, moisture or wetness of any kind. Your local wiring code will give detailed instructions about its installation requirements for such conditions.

B) In addition, depending on the locality and the actual installation site, some wiring codes will require - for personal safety reasons - that a new lighting circuit connected to an existing power socket outlet must be fitted with a protective device such as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or Residual Current Device (RCD). If the wiring code requires one of these protective devices you must fit one into the circuit to be compliant to the code.

C) The present socket outlet will be protected by a fuse on the main breaker panel that is suitable only for power socket outlets. That fuse may not "blow" if a fault condition ever occurred somewhere in the new lighting circuit. So, to give the new lighting circuit proper protection from fire hazards, it is advisable to use a new wall switch of the type which includes its own 3 AMP fuse.

D) It is essential that you find a secure place to mount the new lighting fixture. Depending on the type of room or location it may or may not be allowed to position the fixture on to a wall or the ceiling. If the location is to be the ceiling, the light fixture must be screwed through the plaster on to a wooden joist above the plaster board, not just on to the ceiling plaster alone.

Assuming you have noted all the above advice, here are some general instructions as to how to proceed with the simplest of installations. If you have a more complicated installation to do, such as one requiring a GFCI or RCD, you must follow the instructions supplied with that protective device.

1. Switch all the power off at the panel using the main power switch and then

CHECK that there is NO POWER at the socket outlet by using a meter or voltage

indicator to insure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.

2. Install a new wall box in the wall to house the new fused switch.

3. By unscrewing the fixing screw(s) remove the existing socket outlet from its

wall box. From that wall box run a new length of lighting cable - containing a

black (hot) wire, a white (neutral) wire and a bare or green (ground) wire -

to the new wall box for the new fused switch.

4. Working on the existing socket outlet, to connect the "hot" wires together,

unscrew the screw in the brass terminal that has the existing black wire(s) in it.

Put the new black "hot" wire into the terminal and tighten the screw to hold all

the black wires together in the terminal.

5. Working on the existing socket outlet, connect the new white "neutral" wire

into the terminal that has the existing white wire(s) in it.

6. Working on the existing socket outlet, connect the new bare or green "ground"

wire into the terminal that has the existing bare or green wire(s) in it.

7. Run a new length of lighting cable containing a black (hot) wire, a white (neutral)

wire and a bare or green (ground) wire from the new wall box for the switch to the

wall or ceiling box for the new light fixture.

8. If there is a ground terminal already supplied as part of the new wall box,

the bare or green ground wire coming from the existing socket outlet should

be connected to that ground terminal.

9. Also to that ground terminal connect the ground wire of the cable going to the

position where the new lighting fixture is to be mounted, even if the lighting fixture

itself does not require a ground wire. That should be done so that if, in future, the

lighting fixture is replaced by another one that does need a ground wire, it can be

connected easily and safely.

10. If there is no ground terminal already supplied as part of the new wall box for the switch, connect all the bare or green ground wires together in the terminal marked for a ground wire on the new fused switch, if the switch has one. If the switch does not have a ground terminal then use a proper insulated connector to connect all the ground wires together.

11. If there is a terminal marked for a ground wire on the new fused switch and you have not already used it as was advised in Step 10, use a six to nine inch length of green wire to connect it to the ground terminal in the new wall box, if there is one, or to the connector mentioned in Step 10.

12. Connect the black wire in the cable coming from the existing outlet to the

"Supply" hot terminal of the new fused switch.

13. Connect the black wire in the new cable going to the new lighting fixture to the

"Load" hot terminal on the fused switch.

14. Similarly, connect the white "Supply" and "Load" wires to the terminal marked

"Neutral" on the fused switch. If there are two separate Neutral terminals marked

for "Supply" and "Load" wires, use those accordingly. If you have decided not to use

a fused switch (even though it is good practice to use one for this kind of application)

then you must use a proper insulated connector to link the white "Supply" and "Load"

wires together.

15. Now connect-up the new lighting fixture to the new supply cable, being careful

to fit the hot, neutral and ground wires into the correct terminals. If the new lighting

fixture does not have a terminal for a ground wire then simply put the end of the

ground wire into a separate insulated electrical connector and cover it with some

green tape so it is available for future use on a different lighting fixture which may require it.

16. Check that all the terminal connections in all the fittings are screwed tight.

17. Then, using the appropriate screws, fix the old socket outlet and the new

fused wall switch into their respective wall boxes and also screw the new

lighting fixture to its wall or ceiling box.

18. Switch on the main power switch at the main panel and check that the new

fused wall switch and lighting fixture work satisfactorily.<><><>

As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.

Before you do any work yourself,

on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,

always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.




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Q: How do you wire a new light with an on-off switch using wires coming from an outlet?
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