This page contains wiring diagrams for adding a new light fixture using an existing receptacle as the source. Diagrams include adding a light from a switched receptacle and tapping an always-hot outlet. Different wiring arrangements are included to allow for either the light or the switch to come first in the circuit.
This is a wiring diagram for an antique floor lamp with 4 bulbs, one main bulb and 3 peripheral, and usually smaller bulbs. The main bulb threads into a standard socket with an integrated switch and the three peripheral bulbs are wired to a single switch. The secondary switch may have wires colored black, blue and red or, if it’s an old switch, other colors or texturing may be used to distinguish them.
The plain wire is the hot. If the cord isn’t marked with a bead then the strands of wire will be different colors. In these cases the silver wire is the neutral and the brass colored wire is the hot. The plug on the lamp cord holds another clue to polarity with the wide prong being the neutral and the narrow one the hot. Older lamp cord will have prongs that are the same size. This is because polarity was not observed on electric lamps until the development of grounded circuits.
Here a receptacle is added to a 3 way light circuit before the first switch. It is not controlled with the switches but is instead always hot. The source hot, neutral and ground are spliced to a 2-wire cable that runs to the new outlet. The 3 way switches and light are then wired in the usual way with the common on SW2 spliced to the source hot and the light hot wired to the common on SW1.