QUESTION: Prior to our purchasing our older home, the attic was converted into a bedroom. It is very long and narrow and has three fixtures - the center was a regular light fixture, the outer two were very old and nasty ceiling fans, one with a light, one without. I've never been happy with the fans, especially considering that the one without a light is over the stairs, so the stairs are very dark and difficult to see. We replaced the center fixture with a new fan and wanted to replace the outer fixtures (which are wired to the same switch) with regular lights. The N fixture has only two black wires coming out and we have a little tester that lights up when it touches the wires, but we can't figure out how to wire it to make the fixture work. (the new fixture is a 2-bulb and has two white, two black, and a ground - pretty standard in comparison to the 10 other fixtures we've changed since we moved in) Any ideas?
ANSWER: Are you saying that the box has 2 black wires, or the fixture does? Normally you just wire up the new fixture exactly as the old fixture is wired. If there are two black wires coming from the box, then perhaps the white is inside stuffed into the box. Just because you get a test light to work, does not mean that it will work with a fixture, because the test light uses only 1/4 of a watt, so it does not take much to get it to light. What do you mean by the N fixture? If the new fixture is not color coded, then try to wire it so that the side of the wire that goes to the bottom button of the socket goes to the black house wire, and the wire that connects to the screw part goes to the white house wire.
Feel free to send a follow up and tell me exactly why you can't connect the new fixture how the old fixture was wired, and I can visualize the problem a little better.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: The box has only two black wires - that's it. Of course, we didn't closely examine how the old fixture was wired, I think we just assumed two wires = 1 black & 1 white and didn't look that closely.
The new fixture has two sockets - and each socket has one black & one white (so there are two black wires and two white wires on the fixture. Coming from the box, there are two black wires only. There are two boxes wired to one single switch, so we wondered if maybe the extra black wire had something to do with wiring the switch to the second box, but we aren't sure how to tell. Thank you!
If the light worked before, and there are only 2 wires, then the whites have to go to one, and the blacks to the other. If they are not color coded, there's not much you can do about it.
I would give that a try and see if it works.