How to Change Your Own Light Fixtures

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You won't need to hire a contractor when you know how to change your own light fixtures. Learn the safe way to perform this operation yourself in this free video on home and garden repair.

Part of the Video Series: Home and Garden Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chris Palmer. Welcome to Chris' Workshop. Today we're going to work on changing our own light fixtures. When you remove a ceiling light fixture, what you have is a round electrical box that houses the wires that make the connection to make your light work. In this situation it's a shallow surface mounted box. More typically what you find is a recessed box that's actually attached to the ceiling joist. Here's an old style metal box. Here's what you might see in a newer construction, a plastic round box. These boxes are made to accept the standard sort of metal hardware that will come with your light fixture when you first purchase it. This is set up to attach directly to the box. It's a nice secure attachment, a couple screws and these screws are what attaches the light fixture to the hardware. What we have on your light fixture we have three wires. They have a black, a white and a ground and corresponding in this situation we have black, white and ground here in the ceiling as well. There's a small number of chances of instances where power comes to the light box first. In that case you want to be extra careful because the white wire will be hot. This is a standard configuration, the type that you'll see probably 90% of the time where power comes into the light switch first and then there's a wire coming from my switch right here to my light fixture. To install this light fixture, what you want to do is first attach the hardware bracket to the box, two screws right into the box and this should be nice and secure. Then all you need to do is use wire nuts to connect black to black, white to white and ground to ground. Once your wires are connected, you want to neatly fold them inside the housing of the fixture. In this case there's plenty of room. Once the wires are out of the way you push the fixture into place and these screws will come right through the fixture. I put a couple nuts on there and that's what holds my fixture in place. I'm Chris Palmer. Thanks for joining me. That's how you change your light fixtures.

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