Installing a Light Fixture

by Ashley Horne

Does the thought of installing a new light fixture or replacing an old one scare you? It shouldn’t! It isn’t as hard as you might think and installing a new light fixture can work wonders in updating an outdated room. Don’t wait any longer to tackle this project!

Light Fixture

WARNING! The power MUST be off before proceeding any further. I’m not talking about just flicking off the switch. Turn the power off at the breaker. Be sure to test that the power is off by flicking the switch on and off and use your circuit tester to confirm. If you can’t be sure that the power is off DO NOT start this project.

For this project you will need a circuit tester, a Philips head screwdriver, a step ladder, a new light fixture, wire connectors or wire nuts and electrical tape.

Start by loosening the screws on the old light fixture. Once the wires are exposed you will need to remove the little caps (wire caps) and then separate the wires in the following color order: black (the hot wire), white (the neutral wire), green (the green wire – often thicker than the other two wires). Once the wires are separated, you can remove and discard the old light fixture.

Next, you will replace the mounting bracket. Unscrew the old bracket and put in the one that came with your new fixture. Replacing the bracket will ensure that the fixture stays put. If there is a difference in weight between your old and new fixture this step is extremely important.

You will then reconnect the wires. Your new fixture may come with instructions as to how to connect the wires – if so, follow the directions. Typically, you will want to start by reconnecting the white wires. Match the exposed copper ends of the wires (no more than ½” should be exposed) together and twist them in a clockwise direction. Place a wire cape over the connection. Continue on with the black wires and then lastly the green wires.

Finally, use the screws that came with the fixture to attach it to the ceiling. Be sure to review the package instructions to make sure you haven’t missed any specific instructions. Once you have mounted the light fixture turn the power back on and flip the switch and let there be light! Enjoy!

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