How to Convert a Light to a Pull Chain

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In some closets, basements and other seldom-used spaces, a pull chain light fixture is a perfect choice for lighting. These white, porcelain fixtures hold a single light bulb, and are turned on and off by pulling on a chain located to the side of the bulb. If you have a light fixture in a location that would be better served by a pull chain fixture, you can convert a light to a pull chain in just a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Voltage testing light

Turn off the light switch, if the light is turned on and off at the switch.

Remove any globe covering the light bulb. Then, unscrew the light bulb, and set aside.

Loosen the two screws holding the fixture in place, and gently pull the fixture down about 6 inches from the junction box.

Tilt the fixture so that the wiring is accessible. Place one lead of a voltage testing light onto each contact screw on the fixture. If the light comes on when both leads are touching the screws, then there is electricity to the fixture. Turn of the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit, and test again to make sure that the power is off to the fixture.

Loosen the two connection screws on the fixture, and remove the white and black wires from the two screws. Set the fixture aside.

Connect the black wire to the gold terminal screw on the new pull chain fixture, and the white wire to the silver terminal screw. Tighten the two screws to secure the wires to the fixture.

Tuck the wires up into the junction box, and position the two mounting holes in the pull chain fixture over the mounting holes in the junction box. Insert the two mounting screws that came with the pull chain fixture through the mounting holes and tighten with a screwdriver to secure the fixture to the junction box.

Screw in a light bulb into the fixture. Turn on the circuit breaker, fuse box or light switch. Pull the chain on the light to turn the light on and off.

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