How to Install a Ceiling Light?

How to Install a Ceiling Light

Replacing a light fixture is one of the most satisfying electrical upgrades, a great way to quickly transform a room. Choose a fixture suitable for the amount of light you need. Never boost the illumination by installing bulbs of a greater wattage than the fixture is rated for. As with any electrical upgrade, shut off the power before beginning.

  1. REMOVE THE OLD FIXTURE. Confirm that the power is off by turning the wall switch off and on. The fixture should not light up. Remove the bulb(s) and detach the old fixture from the box. The type shown here attaches with a nut and threaded post. Some attach to the box with two screws.
  2. DETACH THE WIRES. Use a bent piece of coat hanger to support the fixture by hanging it from the box. Unscrew the wire nuts and detach the wire connections.
  3. STRAP OFF. Remove the old strap from the box.
  4. STRIP THE WIRES. On each wire, snip off the bare wire back to the insulation. Strip off % in. of insulation. Install the new strap that comes with the replacement fixture.
  5. CONNECT WITH WIRE NUTS. To avoid straining the connections, temporarily hang the new fixture from the box with the bent coat hanger. Beginning with the unin­sulated or green insulated copper grounds, hold the stripped ends side-by-side and twist on a wire nut, turning it clockwise. Connect the white wire to the white wire, then black to black.
  6. SECURE THE CONNECTIONS. Wire nuts twist the wires around each other while securing them. Give each wire nut a pull to confirm that the connection is tight. Wrap a couple of inches of electrical tape around the wires and nut to secure the connection.
  7. INSTALL THE FIXTURE. This fix­ture uses screws for mounting to the box. Some use a threaded post, as shown on p. 31. Start the mounting screws in the strap, po­sition the fixture, and tighten the mounting screws.
  8. INSTALL THE BULBS AND GLOBE. Check the fixture base to deter­mine the maximum wattage bulb that can be installed. Restore power, and test.

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