A new light fixture can give a fresh look and feel to any room in the house, and you don’t need to be an electrician to install one. In this project, which is suitable for DIYers of all skill levels, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to install a new light fixture. You’ll need just 30 minutes to an hour and a few basic tools to complete this project.
- Wire strippers
- Circuit tester
You won’t need too many materials.
- Replacement light fixture
- Wire connectors
- Electrical Tape
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Power off. Before starting any wiring project, shut off the power connected to the circuit you’ll be working on. You can do this from your home’s electrical box. Once you’ve identified the correct circuit breaker and shut it off, test to ensure the wires you’ll be touching have no power. You can do this with a proximity tester.
Strong box support. Once you’ve confirmed the power is off, check your new light fixture’s installation instructions to see what type of receptacle box is required to support the fixture.
Prepare wires. Once your box is safely in place, you’ll need to make sure the wires coming from the electrical box are in good condition. They should be clean and free of nicks and scorch marks. If they’re dirty or worn, clip off the stripped portion and strip away about three-fourths of an inch of insulation from the end of the wires.
Mounting bracket. If your box does not already have a mounting bracket that attaches to the electrical box, your new fixture should come with one. If the kit does not include a mounting bracket, or there wasn’t one already in place, you can purchase one from your local hardware store.
Ground wire. Attach the bare copper ground wire from the power supply cable to the grounding screw or mounting bracket clip.
Finish grounding. Take the end of the bare wire and form it into a loop. Position the loop under the screw head as shown. Tighten the screw by turning it clockwise which will pull the wire in and wrap it around the screw. Firmly retighten the screw to ensure secure electrical connection.
Neutral wires. Using a wire connector, attach the neutral wire in the ceiling to the neutral wire in the new light fixture. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to identify the neutral and hot wires on your light fixture. You can pre-twist the wires together using pliers to make the job easier. Tighten the connector to make sure you have a solid electrical connection. Holding the wire connector, gently pull on the two wires to make sure they are firmly connected.
Hot wires. Using a wire connector, attach the hot wire in the ceiling to the hot wire in the light fixture. Tighten the connector to ensure you have a secure electrical connection, just as you did with the neutral wires. Once again, holding the wire connector, gently pull on the two wires to make sure they are firmly connected.
Attach fixture. Carefully fold and push the connected wires into your fixture’s electrical box. Attach the fixture firmly to the ceiling with screws through its mounting plate into the holes in the mounting bracket. Some fixtures are mounted with a threaded rod that goes from the mounting plate to the light fixture. Follow the instructions in your new fixture’s manual to complete the project.
Power on. Now that you’ve installed your new light fixture, it’s time to turn the power back on. Go back to the breaker where you initially turned off the power, and flip the same switch to the on position. Turn on your new light fixture, and revel in your new DIY wiring skills.