Replacing an Apartment Light Fixture that has a Built-In Switch

by Tagger   Last Updated September 15, 2018 00:21 AM - source

I am hoping to replace a vanity light in my bathroom over my sink and I have already gone ahead and ordered a light fixture. However, I realized I may have made a mistake in choosing the new one...

The current light is a cheap, small fluorescent fixture with a built-in switch. It is not connected to a wall switch. The new light does not have a built-in switch. So now I'm concerned that the new light will simply be on permanently with no way to turn it off. This is an apartment I rent, so I can't really tear the wall apart to do rewiring.

Interestingly, though the current light functions independently, sometimes it doesn't turn on until I flick the room lights. Then it immediately comes to life! So it must be connected to the light switch somehow even though that switch doesn't control it otherwise.

So I guess this is really two questions in one.

First: What are my options of replacing an "independent" light with a "dependent" one? I read somewhere that there is a switch you can add to a fixture to use it independently, but I'm not sure how that works.

Second: Should I be concerned about the wiring, if I sometimes have to jumpstart the vanity light by flicking the room switch?


Oh! Also, the current fixture isn't even rated for damp areas and this bathroom had no exhaust, so it's a hazard as is.

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