How to Install Ceiling Light Fixtures

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Image shows entire lighting assembly
Image shows entire lighting assembly (Image: www.acehardware.com)

Replacing a ceiling fixture does not have to be a daunting task. Technically, lighting fixtures have only three wires--two live wires and one ground- to connect, so as long as the power is turned off, this can be a do-it-yourself project. If your room does not have a fixture currently, it is best to have an electrician run new wiring for you to the ceiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Lighting fixture
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire stripper

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Turn off power to the existing fixture by turning off the breaker at the electrical box for the room you are working in .

Remove the globe and unscrew the light bulbs. Use a utility knife to loosen the fixture from paint on the ceiling so as to not cause damage.

Unscrew the mounting screws. This will allow you to pull the fixture away from the mounting plate.

Unscrew the wire nuts and separate the wires of the fixture and the electrical box. Unscrew the existing mounting plate.

Fasten the mounting plate to electrical box. The fixture you purchased will have its own mounting bracket and screws and wire nuts.

Clip the ends of the wires with a wire cutter. Use the wire stripper to remove the protective coating and expose fresh wire so the connection will be sound.

Attach fixture wires to the wires of the electrical box using supplied wire nuts. Match color for color.

Align the openings of fixture to the mounting plate and attach using the supplied screws.

Screw in the light bulbs and attached the globe. Make sure not to overtighten the cap or nut that holds the globe in place. Having it too tight can cause the globe to crack.

Turn on power to the room and flip the light switch to check the installation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a ceiling medallion can add a decorative element and cover any damage left from previous fixture. They are normally round and available in various styles and sizes. Install a medallion before installing new fixture after you have removed the existiing fixture, between Steps 2 and 3 of Section 2.
  • It is imperative that the electricity be turned off going to the fixture you are replacing. Make sure the power is off to that room by turning on the switch before starting to work.
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