How to Install a Light Fixture

Step-by-step guide on how to install a new light fixture -- no handyman necessary!

Tools:

light fixture
step ladder
wire connectors or wire nuts
circuit tester
electrical tape
Phillips-head screwdriver


Note: When working with electrical connections, normally the black wire is hot, the white is neutral and the bare is ground. If the wires are the same color or other colors, testing is needed. Test the wires by touching one end of the circuit tester to one of the wires connecting to the light and the other end to the ground. The hot wire is the one that causes the circuit tester to light up. Turn the power off at the breaker and label the hot wire with black electrical tape for future reference.

Steps:

1. If your fixture is wired properly and there's no question about which wire is hot, neutral, and ground, then begin by turning off the power at the breaker.

2. Loosen the screws on the light fixture and remove the wires. Put the old fixture aside.

3. Next you'll install the mounting bracket, securing it with the screws that held up the old light fixture.

4. Connect the white wire in the ceiling to the white wire in the light fixture (neutral to neutral) by twisting the ends clockwise and then screwing the wire nut on clockwise.

5. Then connect the hot wire in the ceiling to the hot wire in the fixture (black to black) and secure it with a wire nut.

6. Finally connect the ground wire from the ceiling to the fixture's ground wire (ground wires are the bare copper-looking wires) and secure them with a wire nut (The ground wire nut might be slightly bigger than the other two.)

7. Next insert the long screws used to suspend the new fixture. Different lights may go together differently; follow the manufacturer's instructions with your light.

8. Slip the fixture into position over the screws and turn it so that the screw heads slip over the key holes and hold the fixture into place.

9. Tighten the screws holding the fixture into place so that it's firmly in position and not moving around, yet not so tight that you break the fixture.

10. Screw the light bulb into the fixture and then screw in the rod that holds the globe in place. Secure it with the final screw or other end piece that came with it.

11. Turn the power back on at the breaker and test your new light fixture!


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