Ground or neutral connection?

Hi folks, I've been doing a lot of reading, but can't find the anwer to this.
I have a small lamp with 2 wires coming from it, black (hot) and white (ground, I presume).
the spot in the wall where I want this to go, has 3 wires. Black (hot), white (neutral), and copper (ground).
The lamp works if I attach the black wire from the wall, to the black wire in the lamp - and the white wire from the lamp, to either the copper or neutral wire in the wall. Which should I use from the wall - white, or copper?
Thanks, I know this is a totally lame question... I appreciate the help.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

The wires from the lamp are hot (black) and neutral (white). Attach them to the same wires from the wall. The ground wire (bare copper or green insulation) is for safety only, not to carry normal current. -- Dennis
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Short answer: use the white wire
Longer Answer: The white wire is part of hte electrical feed for power. The bar wire is there to act as a ground. They may both seem to do the same thing, but in actual function they differ. At times you see a green wire for a ground. That goes tot he copper wire.
Wire is designated by numbers for both size and number of wires. 12-2 is 12 gauge and has two wires. 12-2 with ground has a black, white, and a bare ground wire. 12-3 with ground has a black, white, red, and bare ground wire.
Get a basic book on wiring to get a better understanding and you can learn basic troubleshooting.
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What Im making out of this is that you are planning to directly wire the lamp to the wall outlet wiring? Are you planning on keeping it this way?, or just testing the lamp? Is there a wall outlet? and is there a plug for the lamp? You can go to your hardware store and get a plug for the lamp and a wall outlet and install these. Just remember that the white wire goes to the silver screw and the black wire to the gold screw.
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also, check out this site, some explanations for do-it-yourselfers.
http://www.electrical-online.com /
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just for the record, this is a fixed (wall or ceiling mount) light, I hope. You should never be direct wiring any other kind of light.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
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White snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thanks for the responses. Yes, this is for a ceiling mounted light...
I understand now, thanks again!
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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