How Do You Install a Fluorescent Light Fixture?

install-fluorescent-light-fixture Credit: Adri Berger/Stone/Getty Images

Fluorescent light fixtures are produced for both hard ceiling and drop ceiling installations. Installation techniques are different for each type. These instructions focus on installation of fluorescent light fixtures in regular ceilings, with attachment to the framework by wood screws. The process is likely to take an afternoon.

  1. Disconnect the power

    Turn off the power to the circuit from the main electrical box. Test with a non-contact voltage tester. Don't proceed until you are sure the power is off.

  2. Mark the cutout, and mount the fixture

    Mark the area where you wish to install the fixture. Using a stud finder, locate the edges of two adjacent rafters. Using the edges of these rafters as guidelines, mark the shape of the cutout appropriate for your fixture. Start the cut by drilling 1-inch holes in each corner of the mark. Use a keyhole saw or portable jigsaw to complete the cut. Attach the housing to the adjacent rafters.

  3. Connect the wiring and install the trim

    Feed the wiring through the connector on the fixture, leaving approximately 12 inches hanging down. Shave the wiring insulation to reveal 1/2 inch of the circuit wires on both the black and white wires. Connect to the corresponding black and white wires on the fixture, and cap off with plastic wire nuts. Wrap the ground wire around the grounding screw and tighten. Insert the light, and snap the trim and light cover in place.