Are you thinking about replacing the old light fixtures in your house? Save time and money by doing it yourself. Changing light fixtures is fast and easy—you can accomplish a complete change in a few easy steps.
Changing the light fixtures is a great way to revitalize any room. Few projects can have such a bold impact on an area as quickly and cheaply. Best of all, you can do it yourself! You don’t have to be a professional electrician. Just stick to a few key steps and you’ll have those new fixtures up in no time.
Let’s get those fixtures changed!
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What you’ll need
To change the light fixtures in your house, you’ll need a few basic materials. You might have some of these already laying around your house, but some of them will require a quick trip to the hardware store. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ladder (if the fixtures are out of reach)
- Wire nuts
- Current detector
What you need to do
As mentioned before, changing your light fixtures is one of the easier home improvement projects that you can take on yourself. It is a fast and easy way to revitalize any room.
Follow these seven steps and you’ll have those new fixtures up in no time!
1. Shut off the power
Before you being any electric work, it is important to shut off the power to avoid electrocution. Flipping off the light switch will not be enough.
Make sure that you shut off the power via the breaker box and make sure you turned off the correct breaker by flipping the light switch on and off a few times. If the lights don’t come on, you’ve got the right breaker.
2. Remove the old fixture
Remove the old light fixture by undoing the bolts or screws that hold it in place.
If the fixture is caulked to the wall or ceiling, you may need to use a box cutter or a screwdriver to pry it loose. Be gentle so that you don’t damage to wall or ceiling in the process.
Pro Tip Remember to keep on hand on the fixture. Once it is detached, you’ll still need to disconnect the wiring.
3. Disconnect all wires
There should be three wires attached to the fixture: one black, one white, and one copper. Run a current detector over the wires, especially the black one, to ensure that there isn’t any residual electricity running through them.
Once the wires are disconnected, the fixture should come away from its mount easily.
4. Attach the bracket
Using a screwdriver, attach the bracket that came with your new fixture to the wall or ceiling where the old fixture was.
If you want to put the new fixture in a different location, you’ll need to do a bit more expensive remodeling work, like adding drywall to cover the hole.
5. Connect the wires to the new fixture
Your new fixture will have one black, one white, and one copper wire just like the old one.
If these wires don’t have about half an inch of exposed metal at the end, you may need to strip away some of the protective casing so you have enough wire to work with. You can use scissors or pliers to do this.
Now, using the wire nuts, attach the wires in the fixture to the corresponding wire coming from the electrical box. The black wire should attach to the black wire, the white wire should attach to the white wire, and the copper should attach to the copper. Just follow color coding.
Make sure to attach the black wire first! Then the white neutral wire. Then the copper grounding wire.
If you don’t see a copper wire coming from the electrical box, that means the box itself is grounded. If this is the case, you’ll just attach the grounding wire in the fixture directly to the box. Wind the grounding wire around the green screw which should be included with your bracket.
Key Takeaway The order you attach the wires is important. It should go black, then white, then copper.
6. Make sure it’s secure
Different fixtures will come with different types of hardware to attach the fixture to the bracket, usually screws or bolts.
Use the provided equipment to attach the fixture to the bracket, making sure it is secure.
7. Turn the power back on
Once the fixture is attached, you just need to turn the power back on at the breaker and you’ll be all set!
Does home insurance cover light fixtures?
If your light fixtures need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, on the other hand, insurance is not going to cover it.
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Is it easy to change light fixtures?
Yes! Changing light fixtures is easy and relatively quick! You can do it yourself in about 30 minutes. You’ll just need a few basic tools and this how-to guide.