DIY Network

Install a Ceiling Fixture

This quick lighting project can improve the look of any room.

More in Electrical

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Attach the Mounting Bracket

Shut off the power to the light circuit at the main electrical panel. Use a circuit tester to check that the power is off at the old fixture.

Install a threaded mounting bracket to the ceiling junction box. This bracket will support the fixture. Use screws to secure the bracket in place.

install bracket that will support fixture

Step 2: Connect the Ground Wires

The electrical cable in the box should have three wires: one black, one white and one bare or green ground wire.

Starting with the ground wire, strip off the insulation and wrap the wire around the green screw on the mounting bracket, leaving a 3" to 4” length of this wire extending beyond the screw (if the bracket does not have a green screw -- older ones may not -- wrap the wire around the bracket’s mounting screw before you tighten it).

Then use a barrel clamp to attach the free length of ground wire to the fixture’s ground wire. This ties the existing electrical box and the new fixture into the home’s grounded network.

electrical cable in box should have three wires

Step 3: Connect the Remaining Wires

Use a wire stripper to remove about 1/2" of insulation from the ends of the fixture wires. Connect the white wires to each other by twisting them together, and use a wire nut to secure the splice.

Twist the black wires together and secure them with a wire nut.

Step 4: Install the Fixture

Screw the mounting bracket’s threaded rod into the center of the bracket and fasten it with the locking nuts provided.

Install the fixture’s cover plate over the ceiling box. The threaded rod should extend just far enough below the cover plate so that the retaining nut can be attached and tightened. If the rod extends too far and the cover plate is loose, or does not extend far enough, adjust the locking nuts.




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