How to Replace Fluorescent Light with Incandescent

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A new light fixture can add style and function to your home.
A new light fixture can add style and function to your home. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Homeowners who consider their old large fluorescent lights to be outdated can replace them with a new and more stylish incandescent lights. Replacing a florescent light is a little more involved than replacing other types of light fixtures because you may have to repair the ceiling before you can install the new unit. If you don't have to do a lot of repair to the ceiling surface, the project should only take an hour or two.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall mud
  • Putty knife
  • Paint
  • Incandescent light fixture
  • Light bulbs

Turn off the power to the fluorescent light fixture. At the circuit breaker panel in your home locate the appropriate switch and turn off the power to the circuit. Test the light switch to make sure the power is off.

Remove the cover to the fluorescent light fixture, which should pop out of place easily. Remove the light tubes to prevent them from breaking as you remove the fixture.

Disconnect the fixture wiring from the ceiling electrical box. Carefully unscrew the wire nuts and untwist the wires from one another.

Unscrew the fluorescent light fixture and remove it from the ceiling.

Fix or patch the ceiling surface if it has been damaged. Florescent light fixtures are usually screwed directly into the joists through the drywall, so removing the fixture may leave damage. Use a putty knife and drywall compound to fill holes. Let the compound to dry, lightly sand and paint the ceiling.

Screw the mounting plate of the new incandescent light fixture in place on the electrical box using a screwdriver and the included screws.

Connect the wires in the ceiling electrical box with the wires in the new incandescent light fixture. Match the black wires together, twist the bare copper ends together and twist a wire nut over the top of the wire. Do this with the white wires and then the green wires.

Push the wiring up into the electrical box. Attach the canopy of the new light fixture to the mounting plate with the included screws.

Screw light bulbs into the fixture and install any included glass covers or shades following the manufacturer's directions.

Turn the power back on to the light fixture and test the it to see if it works.

References

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