How Do I Wire Lights in My Attic?

wire-lights-attic Credit: David Seed Photography/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Installing an attic light increases your safety in the otherwise dark space of an attic. Install a switch near the attic access for easy control of the light.

  1. Ask about a permit

    In many locations, home electrical work requires a permit and inspection. Ask the local building department if your new light requires one. Purchase the permit before starting the job.

  2. Determine the number of fixtures you need

    If the attic is small, a single bulb in the center may provide all the light you need. However, if the roofline breaks in two or more directions, consider adding a light for each space.

  3. Attach the fixtures

    Use screws to attach the fixtures to the rafters of the roof.

  4. Tap into power

    The electrical lines for most homes run through the attic. Tapping into a junction box near the switch or near one of the lights you install is sometimes allowable. Turn off the main circuit breaker before making the tap. If you are adding a light and outlets, consider running a dedicated circuit from the electrical panel.

  5. Wire the light

    Attach the wire to the light and switch. Use wire staples to attach the wire to the rafters to avoid creating a trip hazard.

  6. Restore the power

    Once the wiring is complete, restore the power and test your work. If you purchased a permit, call for the final inspection.