Let There Be Light!
Replacing light fixtures that are outdated, broken, or supply insufficient light in a room is easier than one might think. The intermediate to advanced Weekend Warrior can install new light fixtures in a day or more, depending on how many fixtures need to be replaced. All it takes are certain Electrical Parts such as the light fixtures themselves, outlet boxes, 14-2 wiring, electrical pliers, and a voltage meter. Additional items you will need when installing electric equipment may include a saber saw, a knife or stripping tool, a telescoping ladder, mounting screws, and a screwdriver.
Installing New Light Fixtures
Most light fixture assemblies come with instructions, which should be followed explicitly. In the event information is missing or if this is your first time, we have provided basic details below on how to install your new fixtures.
- First and foremost switch off the power supply to the room. Light fixtures come in two varieties: direct mounting on a ceiling box or connected to a ceiling box with a bracket. Adjust your telescoping ladder to the correct height to reach and remove the screws, globe and bulb of the old fixture.
- Next, use your screwdriver to remove each mounting screw to access the wiring. Before removing wire nuts to connections, double check to ensure the electric circuit is off. Once assured, test the leads with your voltage meter before straightening wire connections to remove the old fixture.
- Once the old fixture is out, attach a bracket to the ceiling using the mounting screws, tightening it securely with your screwdriver. (When installing to a ceiling box directly, reconnect wires before attaching the new fixture.)
- Next, reconnect the wiring with the wire nuts using electrical pliers. Strip ½ inch of insulation from the black and red wire ends and the neutral (usually white) and the bare copper or green grounding wire ends. Once stripped, connect the exposed ends to the new fixtures’ wire ends. Some home wiring systems have no ground wire. If yours does not, you will need to use a grounding screw on the fixture. Be sure to wrap it tightly with your screwdriver.
- Now connect the new light fixture using mounting screws (or a mounting bracket) to the ceiling box itself. Tighten these screws when properly aligned so all screws are firmly in place. Insert a light bulb and attach the globe or covering of the new fixture. You are ready to turn on the electrical power and check the light. If it doesn’t light up, you will need to turn the power back off and check each of the above steps for accuracy and correction, if needed.