How do you install a new ceiling light?


Quick Answer

To install a ceiling light, remove the old light, check the electrical box and the live wiring, assemble the light fixture on the floor, attach the crossbar, connect the wires, and complete the installation. Gather tools, a ladder and a non-contact tester to accomplish this task.

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Full Answer

  1. Turn off the power

    Find the circuit breaker control for the target room in the electrical circuit panel. Turn this control off.

  2. Remove the old fixture

    Use a sturdy ladder to access to old fixture. Remove the lamp, and then untwist the wires from those installed in your ceiling. Remove all parts of the old lighting fixture, including the base and trim.

  3. Work on the electrical box

    Ensure the electrical box in your ceiling is sturdy enough to support the new light fixture. Check the screws attaching the electrical box to the framing, tightening them as necessary. If the electrical box is round and only 1/2 inch deep, replace it with a 1.5-inch or 2-inch octagonal or round box.

  4. Test for a ground wire

    Turn the power back on, and flip the light switch on. Use a non-contact tester to ensure the colored wire is "hot" or receiving power. Once determined, shut the power back off.

  5. Pre-assemble the light fixture on the ground

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions for assembling the light fixture, and put as much of it together on the ground as possible. This reduces your overhead work.

  6. Attach the crossbar

    Attach the crossbar so that it aligns with the back of the fixture's canopy. Move all the wires to one side of the crossbar, and screw the bar itself into the electrical box.

  7. Connect the wires

    Distinguish the hot from the neutral wires in the lamp fixture. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for connecting the wires.

  8. Complete the installation

    Make any adjustments necessary to the wiring and the length of a hanging fixture. Fold the wires into the electrical box. Use the included hardware to finish installing the canopy, and add the necessary light bulbs.

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