How to Wire an Electrical Light Fixture

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The major part of installing a light fixture is wiring it correctly. Whether the fixture is old or new, the wiring is done the same. A home's electrical system generally has two wires and sometimes three. There are always hot and neutral wires and sometimes a ground. To ensure the fixture works properly, the wires from the home's electrical system must be connected to the corresponding wires on the fixture. Make sure to connect the wires safely.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Shut off the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the place where the fixture is being installed.

  • Pull the wires of the home's electrical system out of the electrical box in the ceiling or wall. Separate the wires and stretch them out straight. There will be two to three wires. The white wire is neutral. The black or red wire is hot and the bare or green wire is a ground. In older homes there may not be a ground wire.

  • Cut the wires with wire cutters to a length of 6 inches. The wires may already be 6 inches or less with no cutting required.

  • Strip off about 2 inches of insulation from the end of each wire.

  • Strip the ends of the fixture's wires like you did the other wires. Most new fixture wires come stripped.

  • Hold the white wire of the home's electrical system parallel to the white wire from the fixture. Ensure the ends are even with each other. Twist a wire nut onto the pair of wires until it is snug. Do the same with the black or red wire and the ground wire. If there is no ground wire in the home's electrical system, twist a wire nut onto the end of the ground wire for the fixture.

  • Wrap the pairs of wires with electrical tape so the wire nut and an inch below the wire nut is covered.

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