How to Move a Light Fixture

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screw driver

  • Pliers

  • Phillips-head screw driver

  • Scrolling saber saw

  • Junction box

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Lighting decor is often overlooked as a design element in a house, but it can make or break a room. Updating an antiquated space with new lights in new positions is a relatively simple fix that can pay big dividends in the overall ambiance. Moving a light fixture doesn't have to be a difficult process with some basic how-to know-how.

Step 1

Shut off the circuit breaker switch for the light you're planning to move.

Step 2

Remove the external housing and the light bulb. These duties can normally be done by hand, but may require a pliers or a screwdriver.

Step 3

Remove the internal housing from the ceiling or wall. You'll need the appropriate screwdriver and, in some cases, a pliers.

Step 4

Detach the wiring. For this use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the red, black, white and green grounding wire from the fixture.

Step 5

Make a hole in the wall or ceiling big enough to fit the junction box, with the scrolling saber saw.

Step 6

Run your wire to the area you want the new light fixture. If the house is finished, this involves snaking the wire to where you want to move the new fixture to. If this is a long distance, you're going to run in to problems with ceiling joists or frame timber in the wall. You may want to find a place closer to where you want the new fixture such as a power outlet and use that wiring.

Step 7

Affix the junction box and bring your wiring together inside the junction box.

Step 8

Rehook up the wiring to the light fixture using a Phillips-head screw driver. You will most likely have three wires; a black, a white and a green, which is your ground. Pay attention to how you pull the wire from the fixture and use masking tape labels if you need help remembering which wire goes where. Just remember that green is your ground, black is alway a live wire carrying power, and white completes the circuit.

Step 9

Affix the internal plate, screwing the internal plate in to the junction box.

Step 10

Put on the exterior decorative hardware and add a light bulb. This can normally be done by hand but may require a pliers or screwdriver.

Step 11

Flip the switch on the circuit breaker to on.


When installing the junction box, you'll need something like a joist or a frame timber to affix the box to.