How To Install a Ceiling Fixture

Adding a ceiling fixture is an quick, easy and inexpensive way to improve the appearance of any room or hallway. The following is a step-by-step guide in do-it-yourself installation of a store-bought ceiling fixture.  There may be special directions, depending on the ceiling fixture you've chosen, so remember to take special notice of all instructions packaged with your individual lighting unit.

  • The first step is to ensure the power connected to the circuit the ceiling fixture is on has been located and has been turned off.  This is easiest to achieve by shutting off the power at the source; most circuit breakers are clearly labeled, and this should be easy to do. If you have doubts, use a neon circuit tester to be certain the power has been turned off before beginning work.
  • Using insulated pliers, tuck all wiring into the electrical box. With wire strips, remove one inch of wire insulation, exposing the bare wires beneath.
  • Next, secure a mounting strap to the electrical box; this supports the ceiling fixture if the electrical box doesn't already have mounting fixed in place.
  • Now screw the mounting strap into the collar of the support box -- your ceiling fixture will have come with threaded mounts for this purpose. At this point, take a moment to be sure all measurements are correct.
  • Using wire splicers, remove one inch of insulation from the ends of the wires on the fixture (many ceiling fixture models are packaged with this step complete).
  • Connect the wires in the ceiling box to the wires in your ceiling fixture.  Pay careful attention to matching the wire colors between your unit and the home wires: there will be a green (grounding) wire, and two live wires -- these are black and white. Your lighting fixture may have come with a circuit diagram to help visualize this step.
  • Wind the green (grounding) wire to a fully grounded screw (marked with a grounding symbol that looks like an upside-down letter T). This screw is often located on the wiring box or to the mounting strap. This will ground the fixture.
  • Insulate all wires ends with the caps. These should be included in your fixture packaging; they are often yellow.
  • Carefully tuck the wires into ceiling box, while holding the fixture in your free hand.
  • Finally, place the fixture cover onto the ceiling box, securing the bolt with a nut.
  • Look back over your work before you return power to the box. The fixture should be flush with the ceiling, and all wires should be discretely hidden.


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