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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7095
Experience:  Proven Professional 46 years Experience
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I have installed canned lights which I connect the wires and

Customer Question

i have installed canned lights which I connect the wires and plug spliced into an extension cord and plug it into outlet like an lamp and all the lights light up perfect and evenly.
however, if I connect the same to wires to the poles on an existing light switch that turns on an outlet the lights flicker momentarily or do not turn on.
the two outlets appear are on the same circuit breaker.
The top outlet is controlled by the switch.
The bottom outlet is on full time.
What do I need to do to have the canned lights turn on with the switch. there is obviously no issues with the canned lighting when plugged into the wall like a lamp.. and if I connect the same wires to the existing wiring on the switch poles I get no light or a flicker then nothing..
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 7 months ago.
Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. Tell me the colors of the wires in the switch box. Both wires shouldn't be connected to the switch. A neutral wire connection should be made.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Mike.I have blk / wht / grnd on two pairs .. I have ground from both pairs connected to switch4 pole switch:Configuration1: I had blk/blk going to a pole then I had wht/wht twisted (not going to a pole) and got no lights to work even though all the wires tested hot.
Configuration2: I had blk/blk and wht/wht on individual poles on right side of switch.
Note: In each configuration the outlet would go hot but no lights..Sincerely ***** *****
Expert:  Mike G. replied 7 months ago.
If you have 4 poles on the switch with 4 wires connected are there other switches controlling the receptacle. A 4 pole switch would be what is called a 4 way switch and all wires are travelers and are only individually hot depending on connected 3 way switches. Connection for the extension to the new lights needs to originate elsewhere.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
well, the original switch had 3 poles.. the white went to a the single pole and the black went to a single pole w ground. the canned lighting instructions said to twist the wht and connect the black to common pole.. the wires were hot but no lights..
the receptacle (outlet) is controlled by only one switch (the ones described). I got the the 4 pole (logically thinking) that it may help to connect the canned light pair to it's own poles when the light was switched on.bot***** *****ne: I can have blk/blk on same pole and wht/wht twisted and everything works normal (the outlet goes hot..) but the lights will either not turn on or flicker momentarily and never go on. this is the way the wiring instructions are described for the lights.This is why it is confusing to me. that the same pair to the lights spliced to an extension cord and plugged in work just fine..Are you saying that I need another switch and there is no way to share the switch, that a 3 pole or 4 pole switch has no wiriing configuration that will work?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 7 months ago.
What you need is a 2 wire voltage tester. You need to test the box wires for a hot and neutral that is ahead of the switches. When identified, you connect the white to the neutral and the black to a switch having the hot on the other termination.

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