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How to Wire a 208 Volt Light Fixture

Fluorescent lighting isn't the most pleasant lighting choice. However, it's the cheapest to power and many office buildings, libraries and schools still use it as standard lighting. This article describes the correct way to safely wire a light fixture. Amateur DIY enthusiasts shouldn't attempt to do this unless they are reasonably confident in their ability to identify electrical components.

Wire a 208 Volt Light Fixture
  1. Use your flathead screwdriver to remove the end cap of the light fixture. Once the end cap is off, slide the lens off of the light fixture. Using both hands, pinch together the prongs that hold the electrical wiring cover in place. Pull it down to remove.

  2. Locate the incoming and lighting fixture wires. Cut them all to the same length until they touch. Find the two green "ground" wires and then screw the one coming from the fixture into the shell of the fixture.

  3. Strip back the insulation from the ground wire leading from the power source. Using your wire strippers, grab the exposed copper and bend it into a hooked curve.

  4. Remove the screw from the wire that's leading into the light fixture shell. Place both ground wires back underneath the screw and re-attach to the light fixture. Make sure that the end of the copper hook is going in a clockwise direction.

  5. Find the white (neutral) wire that's coming from the power source. Using wire strippers, strip half of the insulation from the tip.

  6. Locate the neutral wire coming from the fixture and then strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the tip. Using lineman's pliers, place the two naked ends together and twist them into a spiral. Place a wire nut on the tips of the two wires and then twist clockwise.

  7. Find the black (hot) wire that's coming from the power source. Find the black (hot) wire coming from the fixture, that's labeled "120/208 volt." If it is not labeled, look for the black wire. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from each black wire and then twist together with linesman's pliers. Place a wire nut on the exposed tips of the two black wires and twist clockwise.

  8. Tuck the wires into the fixture and replace the removable electrical wiring cover plate. Replace the lens and end cap.

Warning

  • Use the black 120/208 volt wire and not the orange 277/480 volt wire. The light fixture won't work if you use the orange wire. Make sure that all wire nuts are twisted firmly or a loose connection will occur and the lights won't work.