How to Install a Light Fixture With Old Wiring

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A different light fixture in an entrance or anywhere else in the room can change the look of the entire room. A light fixture with old wiring is installed in the same way as a light fixture with new wiring. Most light fixtures with old wiring consist of a neutral and a hot lead. The wiring in homes consists of the same wiring except that some homes may also have a ground wire. Installing a light fixture with old wiring is accomplished in about 20 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Anchors
  • Pencil
  • Shut off the circuit breaker that supplies electrical current to the area of the house where the light fixture is to be installed.

  • Pull out and separate the wires from the electrical box where the light will be installed. Straighten the wires so there is no confusion which wire is which. There should be a white wire, a black or red wire and possibly a copper-colored wire. These are the neutral, hot and ground respectively.

  • Strip off 2 inches of insulation from the end of the neutral and hot wires using wire strippers.

  • Prepare the old wires of the light fixture in the same way as you did with the house wiring.

  • Pair the hot and neutral wires from the fixture with the hot and neutral wires from the house wiring. Place the like wires parallel to each other and screw a wire nut onto each pair. Wrap the pairs with electrical tape. Since the old fixture will probably not have a ground, stuff the ground wire back into the electrical box.

  • Set the light fixture up against the wall or ceiling. If the mounting holes of the fixture align with the holes in the electrical box, insert the screws into the box through the fixture using the proper screwdriver, depending on the type of screws. If the holes do not align, mark the wall or ceiling with a pencil where the mounting holes are for the fixture.

  • Drill holes where the marks are located with an electric drill with a 1/4-inch drill bit installed.

  • Insert anchors into the holes. Ensure that the anchors are flush with the surface of the wall or ceiling. Hold the fixture in place and install the screws through the fixture into the anchors. Turn on the circuit breaker.

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