Changing Lighting Fixtures

Changing style or room use sometimes dictates changing light fixtures.  This article will show you how to do it.  It is very easy but you must remember to shut off the electricity. 

Items needed:
Electrical tape (optional)
Pliers (depends)
Circuit tester
Safety Suggestions and Tips
Turn off electricity
Use caution on ladder
Level of difficulty

Time Required:
 1 hour


Shade is removed

Step 1:

Remove the shade from the light.  These are usually made from glass or plastic.  Remove the light bulbs. Examine the base of the fixture to determine how the fixture is held in place.  The first method employs two screws that screw into the junction box. 

Unscrew nut on threaded rod

Step 2:

The second method uses a threaded rod that screws into a strap that is held onto the box by screws.  The rod will normally have a nut on it that holds the fixture.  Remove the hardware that holds the fixture and ease it down.

Unscrew wire nuts

Step 3:

Remove (and save) the wire nuts that connect the wires from the fixture to the wires from the box.  Avoid touching the wires while removing the nuts. 

Wire tester

Step 4:

Using a circuit tester, test the wires to make sure that they are not live.  If they are, go find the right breaker to shut off the power.  Take the wires from the light loose.

Tighten with wire nut

Step 5:

If your new fixture uses a strap to hold it in place, now is the time to put it up.  Using the wire nuts, connect the wires from the new fixture to the wires from the box.  Make sure that you connect the bare ground wire as well.  Put the wire nuts back on. Make SURE that when you put the wire nuts back on they cover all of the exposed wire.  If the do not, take the nut back off and trim the exposed wire.    

Push wire through fixture

Step 6:

Push the wires back up into the box and hang the fixture.  If the fixture uses the two screws, attach the two screws first and push the fixture up so that the screws go through the insulation.

Tighten the hanging screws

Step 7:

Then insert heads through the large end of the slots.  Twist it slightly to hang it.  If necessary, tighten the screws. 

Tighten nut using pliers

Step 8:

If your fixture uses a threaded rod, slide the fixture up and use the included nut(s) to mount the fixture.

Do not exceed wattage

Step 9:

Install the light bulbs.  Make sure that you use the correct bulbs.  Check the package or the base of the fixture.  Flip the switch to make sure the light works. Affix the shade.  If you are using the threaded rod, you may need adjustment the rod to make the shade hangs in the right place.