DIY Network

Replace a Chandelier With Wall Sconces

Give a formal room a spacious new look with decorative wall fixtures.

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wall sconces can update the dining room

Step 1: Remove the Old Fixture

Turn off the circuit breaker to the circuits in the room you'll be working in.

Remove the chandelier ceiling cover, and use a circuit tester to be sure the power is off to the wiring.

Disconnect the wires and remove the fixture from the ceiling.

Step 2: Cut the Wall Openings

Measure and mark the locations for the sconces. At both locations, drill a small hole in the wall and use a length of wire to probe inside the wall cavity for obstructions (Image 1).

Use a junction box as a template to mark the walls, then cut both holes using a drywall saw. If a box falls over a stud, use a shallow-mount box (Image 2).

Step 3: Route Wiring to the New Fixtures

In the attic, use a 1-1/2" spade bit to drill holes through the top wall plates into the wall cavities directly above each of the sconce locations.

Route an electrical cable from the chandelier location to the wall cavity of the first wall-sconce. Feed the wire down through the top plate hole and out through the wall cutout.

Strip 6" of sheathing from the cable end, insert the cable wires into the junction box and secure them with a cable clamp.

Route a second electrical wire up from this junction box, through the top wall plate and over to the top plate hole for the second sconce. Feed this wire down through the hole and out through the second wall-sconce cutout.

Repeat the steps to strip the cable end sheathing and insert the wires into the second junction box.

Step 4: Install the Junction Boxes

Insert both junction boxes into the wall and tighten the attached wall clamps to secure them in place (Image 1).

Use screws to attach a fixture mounting bracket to each box, and thread the wires through or around the bracket (Image 2).

Step 5: Connect the Fixture Wiring

Strip about 3/4" of insulation from each wire in both junction boxes (Image 1). The first box will have two black and two white wires. The second box will have one black and one white wire.

In each junction box, connect the electrical cable wires to the wires for the wall-sconces. Attach white to white and black to black, securing the connections with wire nuts (Image 2).

In each junction box, twist together the bare household ground wire and the wall sconce ground wire, and attach them to the green grounding screw on the mounting bracket or junction box.

Step 6: Install the Wall Sconces

Install each wall sconce to its junction box, using the decorative screws provided with the fixtures. If the screws don’t line up, using toggle bolts to attach the fixtures directly to the wall.

Step 7: Connect the Wall-Sconce Wiring to the House Wiring

Pull the electrical cable from the sconces through the chandelier’s existing junction box. Remove 6" of sheathing, and strip 3/4" of insulation from the wires. Connect the wires to the incoming power wires (black to black and white to white).

Push the wires into the junction box, and cover the box with a decorative or paintable cover plate.