Design and DIY

No More Waiting – How to Install a Light Fixture on Your Own

February 19, 2018

When Brian doesn’t like my design choices, he prolongs the inevitable. Take my Ikea Sinnerlig light fixture, for example. He HATED that thing. And because he hated it, he refused to put it up. Every week I’d ask him to install it and every week he’d say okay. Yet in a box on the floor it remained. Until I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was tired of waiting! So I turned the electricity off and went for it. Since then, I’ve installed four light fixtures in our house and two in the kitchen alone. Every time it gets a little bit easier. Now I’m passing the torch on to you. So no more waiting my friends, I’m giving you the gift of light!

More of a visual learner? You’re in luck! Scroll to the bottom to watch my step-by-step Youtube tutorial.

Before You Begin

Part One – Out With The Old

  • Make sure that the electricity is turned off. I cut the power to the entire house AND checked the light switch to ensure it wasn’t working.
  • All light fixtures differ. To remove mine, I had to unscrew the metal balls that were holding the glass in place.
  • Once the glass is out, remove the light bulbs and set them aside.
  • Take the fixture off by unscrewing the two small screws that hold the plate to the mounting bracket in the ceiling.
  • Once off, you’ll be looking at the wires and metal mounting bracket. Disconnect the wires by unscrewing the caps (wire nuts) by hand.
  •  With your flat head screwdriver, loosen the green screw holding the ground wire and unwrap the wire.
  •  Untangle any wires and gently pull the light fixture away from the ceiling.
  • To remove the old mounting bracket, use a Phillips head screwdriver and loosen the screws that are attaching it to the junction box.
  • You did it! Now to install the new light fixture.

Part Two – In With The New

  • To install your light fixture attach the new mounting bracket to the junction box with your Phillips head screwdriver. The head of the green screw should be facing down at you.
  • Loosen the green screw with your flat head screw driver so that there is room to loop your ground wire around it. You’ll be thanking me that you did this step now! 🙌🏻
  • Because my fixture has two light bulbs it has two sets of wires. Here’s a little lesson on which is which:

Wiring 101

The black wire is the hot wire. The white wire is the neutral wire. And the copper wire is the ground wire.

Back to Business

  • At this point, use the wire strippers to expose no more than an inch of the wires if necessary.
  • I took both of my black wires and twisted them together and did the same with my white wires. If you only have one set of wires you can skip this step.
  • Now you’re going to attach the wires coming from the ceiling to the wires on your light fixture. WARNING: You’re going to be holding the light fixture and attaching wires at the same time. Be ready for some major arm ache. 💪🏼
  • Twist the exposed parts of the black wires (my ceiling wire is red) together clockwise and then screw the wire nut onto the ends.

  • Loop the ground wire round the green screw and then tighten the screw with a flat head screwdriver so that the wire cannot come out.
  • Push the wires into the junction box.
  • For my light, I had to slide the two screws attached to the mounting bracket through the holes in my light fixture and fasten it on with little metal balls. (Get your mind out of the gutter! 😂) Your light may differ, so make sure to read the directions!
  • Before adding any of the unnecessary metal decorative pieces, test your light and make sure it’s functioning!
  • If it is, put on the rest of the hardware to complete your fixture.
  • You’re all done! Pat yourself on the back girl – you just installed a light fixture ON YOUR OWN!

And Then There Was Light

Not too difficult right? Just remember – white with white, black with black, and ground to green! The hardest part is holding the light fixture and twisting all the wires together. My advice? Take your time. Alternate arms and put them down one at a time if you have to! But don’t give up, you can totally do it. 👊🏼 Just look at the difference a new light fixture makes!

Some of my favorite light fixtures:

 

Video Tutorial

For those of you who would rather watch than read, here’s my 4 minute video tutorial with a guest appearance by someone special! (Okay, it’s just Opal 🐶)

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3 Comments

  • Reply Pat May 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Emily!!! I just did this and the light hasn’t burned down the house yet! Thank you!

  • Reply DIY Quick Fix Home Repairs • The Budget Decorator May 17, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    […] Sometimes changing the light bulb just isn’t enough to bring light back to a room, right? Now matter what you try, the light fixture just won’t light up. Or, you just want to update! You can learn how to change a light fixture yourself and save big money in electrician fees. Remember to follow all the safety advice in these tutorials and if you just can’t get comfortable with it, don’t do it. (But, it really is pretty straight forward!) Tutorial from ‘Emily Everyday‘. […]

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