How To Replace a Light Fixture

How To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.com

Light fixtures to a room, are like accessories to an outfit – they give a room (or outfit) that little something extra. Easily add personality to your space, by replacing your light fixture. And YES…you can do it yourself!

Before getting started, remember to cut the power to your light at the circuit breaker before attempting to remove or replace a light fixture of any kind. Just turning off the light switch does not guarantee there is no power being circulated to the wires in the electrical box.

Step 1: Install mounting strap to electrical box.

After shutting off the power to the light and removing the existing fixture, you are now ready to begin installing your new light fixture. First, attach the flat metal bar called a mounting strap to the electric box using two screws and a handheld screw driver.  In most cases, the mounting strap and screws come with light fixture but if not, be sure to purchase these things ahead of time.

How To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.com

Step 2: Connect wires using wire nuts.

While connecting wires, use the color pairings below as your guide:

  • Black or red = current (hot)
  • White = neutral
  • Green or copper = ground

Electrical Guide by Grace + Gumption

Pair up each colored wire from the light with the colored wire from the wall.

fixture wires

Place a wire nut (that you recycled from the old fixture) over the two wires and twist until the two wires are tightly clamped together. Continue until every wire is clamped to its color-coated partner.

How To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.com

Step 3: Ground the fixture and place wires inside box.

The green or bare wires are used to ground your fixture. The reason you want to ground your fixture is to prevent someone from getting shocked if the fixture were to malfunction. It works by tripping the breaker to the fixture in the instance of a malfunction, preventing the flow of electrical current to the light switch.

To ground the fixture, you need to wrap the ground wire from the wall side around the green screw connected to the mounting strap. Tighten the green screw around the wire using a flathead screw driver. Once it’s wrapped and tightened, connect the wall and fixture neutral wires together as you did with the others, using the last wire nut. To finish, gently push the wires inside of the electrical (junction) box. Now you are ready to attach the light fixture.

how to ground a light fixture

Step 4: Attach light fixture to mounting strap and test.

Place fixture on the wall by carefully by passing the threaded pipe through the hole in the canopy. Screw the cap over the threaded pipe to tighten the fixture to the wall. [Note: Not all lights will attach to the mounting strap in the same manner, so make sure to read the directions if yours is different.] Before calling the project complete, pop a bulb into the fixture, turn the power back on and test out the new fixture.

How To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.comHow To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.com

 Step 5: Attach remaining parts and enjoy!

If the fixture doesn’t light turn the power back off, remove the fixture and start over. However if all wires were installed properly, the light should pass your test without a fuss. Add remaining parts to the fixture such as globes, glass, etc and enjoy your new light!How To Replace a Light Fixture by Grace + Gumption at gracegumption.com

Happy upgrading!

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