Intimidated by electrical work? Not me; once I changed out my first light I realized just how easy it is to change out light fixtures – today I’ll show you how!
I’ve always been intimidated by electricity. Movies with people getting shocked (Home Alone 1,2,3) as well as one decent shock I received myself have had me bypassing any electrical work and hiring it out to professionals.
But did you know it’s easy to change out light fixtures? Truly. In just a few quick and simple steps, you can upgrade your lighting in minutes without incurring any costs from electricians.
I’ll show you; this is my daughter’s bedroom in the basement.
The room was used as a craft room and a home office before now, so fluorescent lighting was necessary for working.
Fluorescent lighting, the fixture and the lumens (brightness), are not at all appropriate for a cozy bedroom.
I decided it was time to upgrade her lighting to something a bit more appropriate and aesthetically pleasing, but first I had to remove the fluorescent unit to change out light fixtures.
- Turn the circuit breaker OFF. Hopefully you saw my post the other day about labelling your electrical panel, so this will take 10 seconds and involves just flipping a switch. Test the light switch just to be sure.
- Remove the cover, bulbs and and fixture.
This fixture didn’t have a faceplate but was screwed into the ceiling in two places. Unscrew and gently pull your fixture down.
- Unscrew the orange wire nuts from each wire – they are (Black) active, (White) neutral, and (Green or copper) the ground wire.
- Remove the old fixture. You’re half-done already – I told you it was easy to change out light fixtures!
- If there is a faceplate attached to the lighting junction box, unscrew it and remove it – it’s a metal plate with screws that hold it to the junction box.
You can see above that there is no faceplate in this lighting junction box. Not to worry, most lighting you purchase will come with its own face plate.
- Use the screws provided to attach the new faceplate to the junction box to change out the light fixture.
- Bring up your new fixture and connect the wires – black to black (or in this case red). Pinch the ends together and then use a wire cap/wire nut to twist them together tightly. White to white, and green or copper to the corresponding copper ground.
- If there is no ground wire in your junction box, you also have the option of connecting your copper ground wire to the green screw in the faceplate; this also acts as a ground.
- There will likely be screws attached to the faceplate that will correspond to holes in the light fixture itself. Thread them through the fixture and use the corresponding nuts to hold the fixture in place. Your wiring will all be tucked inside the base.
I added in the bulbs and then switched the circuit breaker back on to make sure it was working before adding the drum shade.
I went with a 15″ semi-flush drum light in lieu of the standard (but ugly) boob light fixture. I think it’s elegant and slightly more dramatic, without being too opulent and overwhelming. Another feature I looked for was multiple bulbs – this fixture has three which still generates a lot of light without being fluorescent.
This one in particular comes with a diffuser that fits inside the drum shade so that anyone lying in bed and looking up, isn’t blinded by glaring bulbs.
It’s pretty, it’s functional, it was inexpensive, and very easy to install. I kind of want one for my room now. lol
So much better than the old fixture, and it only took about 15 minutes (including taking photos) to change out the old light fixture.
These were the other contenders when I was searching out fixtures: (Amazon affiliate links. Please see affiliate disclosure at the bottom of the page)
Click image for specs.
Pin it to refer to later:
I love how this looks and more importantly Miss Madison is pleased. Fifteen minutes to an upgraded lighting situation – trust me you CAN do it!
Have a great one!