Tip. The fixture still works if you reverse the wires, but the socket sleeve will be hot, and anyone who touches it while changing a bulb can get a shock. When wired correctly, the socket sleeve is neutral and only the small metal tab at the base of the socket is hot.
What happens if you hook up a light fixture backwards?
But heres the catch: If you connect the circuit wires to the wrong terminals on an outlet, the outlet will still work but the polarity will be backward. When this happens, a lamp, for example, will have its bulb socket sleeve energized rather than the little tab inside the socket.
What happens if you reverse black and white wires?
When the wires are connected properly at the electrical panel and terminated correctly at the receptacle, all is fine. If the white and black wires get swapped somewhere along the way, trouble may be right around the corner.