I can't seem to figure out how to connect my light bulb to the generator to make it turn on. How do I do this?

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    There's so much potential for a title that would be awesome : How to I turn on a light bulb? How can a light bulb be turned on? Why isn't my light bulb on? – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 10 '15 at 16:27
  • My idea isn't turning on this light bulb. :) – dakre18 Nov 11 '15 at 16:34
  • Keep in mind that if we favour quality over humour, replacing "light bulb" with 'all electronics' answers a lot of other questions, too. – user106385 Dec 29 '15 at 4:27
  • @timelord in this case it didn't make sense as most electronics can be directly hooked up but light bulbs can't. When I first asked this question it was because there was no obvious way of powering up a light bulb but I knew how to hook up a radio tower to a generator – l I Dec 31 '15 at 3:23
  • @z, yikes. A few people disagree, this had already become the go do original for "how to i set up this electronic" duplicates. I suppose Ill have to go looking for them, now. – user106385 Dec 31 '15 at 7:32

I'm going to try and answer this as clearly as I can as I have just worked out how to get everything working. This is how you connect power to objects in your settlement:

  • What you want to do first, as I realise you have already, is get the source of power, i.e. your generator
  • Next, couple the generator with one of the 'power pylons' from the 'connectors and switches tab'. Add a cable between the generator and the pylon
  • The next step is optional; add a 'switch', again from the 'connectors and switches' tab, and place it on a wall somewhere. Attach a wire between the pylon and the switch

    Some lights, like the 'construction' lights, can be wired straight into the switch, and when you come out of workshop mode, you just flick the switch and they will come on

  • For other lights, TVs, etc you will need a 'power conduit', again from 'connectors and switches'. There are three types of conduit, there is one for ceiling, wall and floor, and depending on which of these surfaces your desired item is going on, you choose the appropriate conduit. e.g. if you want a wall mounted light, you add a wall mounted conduit

  • Wire your conduit to the switch or to your power source that you installed earlier, then, add lights and TVs to your hearts content. You don't need to wire them to anything

You must have copper in your (or your workshop's) inventory to attach a wire, although you can delete a previously-built wire for a refund of copper used.

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    nice and thorough answer, thanks. That last bit about the conduit was extra useful. – l I Nov 11 '15 at 2:48
  • Some lights like the construction lights can be hooked up straight to a generator or pylon, they would just be permanently on though – VanBuzzKill Nov 12 '15 at 15:35
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    you (and the game) should make it abundantly clear that when you're out of copper, you can't add wires. – JJS Nov 12 '15 at 20:16
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    You don't need the switch. Generator to conduit on the same wall does it. Might not even need the conduit if the generator is close enough. – DCShannon Nov 16 '15 at 19:07
  • "If you want a wall mounted light, you add a wall mounted conduit" This is definitely not true, the conduit simply needs to be near the light. You can also use a pylon or a switch, but I've found the wall mounted switch to have a significantly shorter range. – osvein Aug 20 '16 at 1:33

Diagram of how to connect power to a light bulb

This picture should tell you how to connect power to a light bulb.

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  • Sorry, PhilFox! I had to add some text to get it to take the edit; without that, your picture wouldn't have appeared. – Frank Nov 11 '15 at 15:12
  • I tried this based on an Internet post but it didn't work for me on PS4, I had to use a conduit instead of the switch to get power radiated (yes I turned the switch on, and yes I moved the items close to the switch). – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Nov 21 '15 at 15:18
  • Just going to leave this here, in case any other user had the same question I did. are image only answers acceptable - yes; have previously seen these deleted as "link only". – user106385 Dec 29 '15 at 4:23
  • @mxyzplk the switch works too, but its range is shorter than that of a conduit or a pylon – osvein Aug 20 '16 at 1:39

You need to connect the generator via anything in the Connectors & Switches section under Power in the Workshop build menu. Once you've got a switch or pylon in place, when you hover over it you have the option to Attach Wire:

attach wire option

Select this option and connect a wire to the generator and the light (or other object) and then flip the switch if required.

image of a generator connected to a light with a switch

Additionally, some items appear to power just by being in the vicinity of power infrastructure (pylons, conduits, etc):

industrial lights powered in the vicinity of infrastructure

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So after blowing through a lot of copper, as far as I can tell anything with out a direct power connection (lights, T.V.'s, ...) can be powered by being in a AOE proximity to either a switch, conduit or a pylon. Also a small generator seems to be able to power several lights (not just three).

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You don't add a wire to the ceiling and wall lights. Add a generator, and once running, put a light in close proximity to it. That's it. If you need it farther away you have to add a power conduit and run a wire from the generator. Then place the light in proximity to the conduit. Usually within the same room. Remember, generators are also rated for power. So if you've used 4 of 5 of the power units and add something that requires 2 units. It won't turn on until there is adequate power.

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Use power conduits on the roof near a light bulb and power the conduit

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  • Could you elaborate? Screenshots and such could be useful. – nine Nov 10 '15 at 20:04

You could try connecting the generator to a pylon with a switch and then running the power with conduits? All light bulbs within that vicinity should work.

Alternatively, you could try placing a coupling capacitor (I think that was the name), near the object you want powered.

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  • What category is the coupling capacitor under? I can't seem to find it. Some pictures would help a lot as well. – l I Nov 10 '15 at 16:55
  • As I say, I think that was what it was called. When time allows (as I'm at work), I'll take a look for you. – Sean Nov 10 '15 at 16:57

Step 1: set up generator

Step 2: set up a switch appropriately with environment (try to get it in between generator and conduit, which is coming up next) wire the switch to the generator.

Step 3: place conduit near desired area of electricity (inside or outside wall is acceptable) wire the conduit back to the generator.

Step 4: place light is desired area (near conduit)

Step 5: If the light(s) DIDNT already come on, try flipping the switch, or pressing A on the item in workshop mode.

I struggled, and this is what worked for me. Still haven't mastered the whole power/defense thing yet

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