How to Change a Light Fixture

Change a light fixture in your home...

Easily change the appearance of a room with a new light fixture. Are you ready to update your fixtures but don't know where to start? Always remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation.


Step 1: Turn off the power to the current light fixture. Make sure to turn the breaker off in the circuit breaker box. If you are unsure which switch is the correct switch turn your light on and then turn the breaker switches until the room light turns off.

Step 2: Remove the old fixture. Start with removing the old cover and untwist the current wires from the old wires. Remove the base from the old fixture.

Step 3: Tighten the screws. Make sure the electrical box is secure in the ceiling where you took the old fixture down. Remember to tighten the screws in place but don't over tighten them. If you are unsure about your current box you can purchase a new box and install.

Step 4: Connect the wires. In most instances, the black wires connect together and the white wires connect. Follow all instructions when connecting the wires together. Often the grounding wire is green and needs to be connected to the grounding screw on the grounding bar. Then wrap the bare section of each fixture wire to the bare section of the corresponding installed wire and screw on the wire connectors. Then you need to connect the grounding wire.

Step 5: Secure the base or canopy. Use the hardware that is included with your new fixture to secure the new light. Make sure to put the wires in the empty space of the fixture on in the electrical box.

Step 6: Install the bulbs. It's time to install the light bulbs. It's important to use the correct wattage for the fixture. Using energy efficient bulbs will provide longer lasting light and lessen the impact on the environment. After your bulb is installed turn the breaker on and turn the switch on to ensure you've wired the fixture correctly. If not turn your breaker box switch back off and check your wiring connections.

Step 7: Install the trim and cover. You've made it to the final step. Add the trim and cover and enjoy your new fixture.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and safety. Check to see if you need a permit. Observe applicable building and electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any doubts or questions about the connections, or if your home's wiring doesn't appear compatible with the changes you're making.

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