Stuff You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire stripper
  • New fixture
  • Wire nuts

Just So You Know ...
If your current fixture touches the ceiling, someone may have painted up to but not under it. Therefore, if the new fixture hangs just below the ceiling, you might have some touch-up painting to do.

1. Shut off the power to the circuit that controls this fixture. Then try the light switch to make sure the power is off.

2. Remove the old globe from the ceiling fixture. Some have decorative knobs at the base that unscrew. Others have screws on the sides. Hold the globe up with one hand as you unscrew it with the other (use a helper if you can't support the weight of it with one hand).

3. Once the globe is off, remove the lightbulbs and unscrew the mounting bracket that's attached to the housing box. Find the wire groupings connected with wire nuts in the housing box. You can unscrew the wire nuts and untangle the wires, or use the wire cutters to cut them. But only cut the wires if it looks as if you've got plenty of wire slack for the new fixture. Sometimes there's barely enough wire to make the connections.

4. Refer to the instructions that came with the new fixture to install it. The one we're installing has a grouping plate that's first attached to the housing box with mounting bolts.

5. The grounding plate has a green grounding terminal (or screw) on it. Wrap the grounding wire (it will be bare copper or green) coming out of housing box around the terminal and tighten with a screwdriver.

6. Connect the black wire from the fixture to the black wire in the housing box by twisting the ends of the two wires together. (If you don't have enough exposed wire, strip the ends.) Then snip about 1/2 inch of the wires off so the tips are even.

7. Place the wire nut over the wires and twist clockwise until it's tight and no bare wire is exposed. Tug on the wires to see if they come loose. If they do, you'll need to start again. Connect the white wires in the same way.

8. Carefully fold all the connected wires into the housing box and secure the canopy (the base of the fixture) to the housing box. Assemble the fixture according to the instructions that came with it. Put in new lightbulbs that are no brighter than the wattage indicated on the fixture.

9. Attach the globe or bowl to the canopy, which is usually done by tightening a decorative screw at its base. Restore the power to the circuit and turn on the light. If it doesn't come on, and you're sure the lightbulbs are good, say, "uh-oh," and call an electrician to troubleshoot it for you.

Want more ideas from Joanne Liebeler's Do It Herself? Click here to purchase the book.
 

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From Joanne Liebeler's Do It Herself



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