DIY Network

Replace a Bathroom Light Fixture

A new light fixture can make a dramatic difference in a bath, and it’s an easy and inexpensive how-to project.

More in Electrical

new bathroom light fixture updates bathroom
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove the Old Fixture

At the main electrical panel, shut off all power to the bath fixture circuit.

Remove the bulb and old fixture cover, then detach the fixture base from the wall.

detach base of old fixture after removing cover

Step 2: Disconnect the Wiring

Use a circuit tester to check the wiring to be sure the power is off.

Disconnect the wires from the fixture, and remove it from the wall.

Step 3: Install a Junction Box

If the original light was mounted without a junction box, you'll need to install one to comply with building codes. Several types of replacement boxes are available. A drywall-mount or “push-in” box with mounting clamps is easy to install.

First, position the new light fixture on the wall and mark its location. Place the junction box over the original wiring exit hole so that the box will be covered by the new fixture. Use the box as a template to mark the opening.

Use a drywall saw to cut the opening for the box.

Pull the electrical wiring into the box (Image 1) and secure it with a box clamp. Push the box into the opening and tighten the drywall mounting clamp screws.

Attach a mounting bracket for the new fixture to the junction box (Image 2).

Step 4: Replace the Fixture

Connect the wires to the new fixture. Attach black to black and white to white, and secure the connections with wire nuts.

Press the wires back into the box, and attach the new fixture to the mounting bracket.

Insert the bulbs and attach any shades or covers.

Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker panel.

press wires in box and attach new fixture to plate

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