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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks. Hopefully someone or some of you can help me figure this wiring and lighting dilemma I am having. If it gets too complicated and I can't figure it out, my last resource is find and pay an electrician to come and assist.

First, I am not an electrician. Just a simple retired new homeowner. but can do basic things, such as change out 1 way or 3 way light switches and simple things. So please try to be easy on me for answers, questions and advice.

I bought my retirement home in NC. It's an older home (early 70's) brick ranch with a full unfinished basement. The older couple that lived there for years of course done alot of the inside work themselves it appears. So here is my problem and issue. I'll try to describe it as best I can without an drawing or diagram.

My unfinished basement has 6 lights. There is only one major switch from the main breaker controlling/powering all 6 lights. The wire comes out of the breaker box to light #1. From there, splice black/white/ground wires 'T' off and go to the other 5 lights in what appears to be a loop. Is this normal? All of the 6 lights each have pull-string switches to each. Opening each of the switches, it appears the wires are always black to black, white to white and ground.

In one area of my basement I need better lighting. So I cut off the power and purchase 2 of those recessed lights with brighter bulbs. Like before, I hooked up black to black, white to white and ground to ground...

Now on the wire prior to the first replaced recessed light, I needed a switch (single pole) to turn them off and on since the recessed lights do not come with any pull-string or switch. Since the whole wiring was in a loop (continuous power) I tried to follow instructions and ran the hot black into the bottom right (black screw) of the switch and ran a new black from the top screw of the switch to the black to the first recessed light. I then bypassed the switch and connected the white together. And connected all the ground together, plus to the switch.

I turned the breaker on and all 6 light came on... but the switch did not operate on or off. The lights stayed on. Is there a simple way to hook up a switch prior to the first recessed light.. or would the whole thing need to be re-wired since it is in a loop.

I am wanting to put at least one switch to turn on and off. Right now my only way to turn on and off is at the breaker.

If this isn't possible, or isn't an easy solution... I tried to search Lowes and other online electric retail for a fluorescent light with a switch or pull-string. The only thing I found was the shop fluorescent which had a pull-string, but it had just a normal plug to plug into a receptacle. And I wasn't sure how to splice into that cord.

So my other question is... is there an online electrical retailer that sells a decent fluorescent ceiling light that has a switch on it, or a pull-string that has normal connectors like the recessed lights at the box stores?

Hopefully this all makes sense and I hope someone can assist... Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I do not see a way to edit my post... but I have a correction. From the break box... there is no switch to light #1. It is a direct link without a switch. Sorry for any confusion.

So there are no switches at all and the wire loops through all 6 lights. Each of the original lights were those old pull-string receptacle type lights.
 

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animal lover /rat bastard
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I'm guessing you didn't bother to read the info when you created your account. there's sister DIY site that is specifically for this purpose but this isn't it. someone will come along shortly and redirect you.
 

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Thanks for posting on ElectricianTalk.com. However, working with electricity and electrical systems can be unsafe if not done by a professional licensed electrician. The moderators of this site would like to advise you to contact a professional electrician in your area.

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