How to Convert a Ceiling Light Fixture Into an Electrical Receptacle

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Most ceiling light fixtures use 115-volt power, which is the same as most electrical receptacles. If you have the need to mount something to the ceiling and need a place to plug it in, you can convert a ceiling light fixture into an electrical receptacle. This will allow you to run a short cord from whatever you are mounting to the ceiling to the new ceiling electrical receptacle. You can now avoid running long extension cords to an outlet somewhere else in the room and save time figuring out how to support the cord along the ceiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Electrical outlet
  • Outlet cover

Instructions

Turn off the power to the light fixture by turning the corresponding breaker off in the circuit breaker panel.

Remove the light fixture from the ceiling. Removal instructions vary per light fixture; however, they usually just unscrew.

Disconnect the electrical wiring from the light fixture. Set the light fixture aside.

Connect the black wire to the brass terminal of the electrical outlet. Connect the white wire to the silver terminal of the electrical outlet. Connect the green wire to the green terminal of the electrical outlet.

Screw the electrical outlet into the box. Install the appropriately shaped cover over the electrical outlet. This will vary depending on the type of ceiling box you have. Some are square, some are rectangular, and some are circular.

Turn the power back on to the circuit by turning the breaker back on in the circuit breaker panel. Verify that the outlet works by plugging something into it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the light was on a light switch, you may need to make sure the light switch is on whenever you have something plugged into the outlet that you want energized.
  • Always have the power off to the wiring you are working on. Failure to do so can result in severe electrical burns and/or electric shock.

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