Electrical Light Socket Wiring Video

An Electrical Light Socket Wiring Tip that Could Save Someone’s Life

By Mark J. Donovan




Mark Donovan of HomeAdditionPlus.com shows how to properly and safely wire an electrical light socket so that the threat of electrocution while installing a light bulb into the socket is dramatically reduced. He specifically describes what wire(s) attach to the brass screw and what wire(s) attach to the silver screw when wiring up the light socket.

Warning: Before doing any work on an electrical outlet, switch, or fixture make sure to first turn electricity off to the circuit at the main circuit breaker panel, and then confirm that power is indeed off at the outlet or switch using a light circuit tester.

When wiring up an electrical light socket it is important to make sure that the correct electrical wire(s) are attached to the correct screws on the back of the light socket or fixture. If you look at the back of any light socket fixture you’ll see a brass screw and a silver screw. You may also find a green screw.

When wiring up the light socket always attach the hot wire(s), which are normally black or red, to the brass screw, and the neutral wire(s), which is normally the white wire, to the silver screw. The bare copper wire coming from the wiring cable should be attached to the green screw as this is the ground wire.

By wiring up the light socket in this manner, you’ll dramatically mitigate the risk of electrical shock when screwing in a light bulb to a powered light socket. The reason for this is that the brass screw, with the power feeding it, is attached to the metal tab at the base of the electrical socket where it is unlikely to be accidentally touched when screwing in a light bulb. The silver screw, with the neutral white wire tied to it, has no power riding on it, at least not until the light bulb has been fully screwed in. Thus, in the event that someone accidentally touches the metal socket while screwing in the light bulb they will not be electrically shocked.

So whether you’re wiring up a light socket, light fixture, chandelier or even a ceiling fan make sure you connect the electrical wires to the fixture in the manner described.


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