How to Change a Light Fixture Without Killing Yourself

modern sputnik chandelier
Lamps Plus

Somehow, I managed to do it, meaning, so can you! I had never changed more than a light bulb before, but this weekend, I changed the hideous dome light in my kitchen with a chic chandelier—all without electrocuting myself. Want to swap out your own blah lighting? Here’s my step-by-step safe guide.

What You’ll Need:

  • Small hand drill or Philips screwdriver
  • 2 ½” flat screws (qty. 2-4)
  • Universal light fixture mounting plate (in case your new fixture doesn’t line up with the electrical box)
  • A ladder or chair to stand on
  • 3 hands (kidding! Although, it would be helpful)

Step 1: TURN OFF THE APPROPRIATE CIRCUIT BREAKER (VERY IMPORTANT, unless you’re dying for electroshock therapy). Safety tip: check the wires with a non-contact voltage detector. It looks like a little pen but will glow if a wire is still hot.

Step 2: Remove the current light fixture by unscrewing it from the ceiling box (but save the screws) and unscrew the wire connectors then separate the wires.

Step 3: Line up your new fixture with the holes on the electrical box. Do they line up? If not, you’ll need a universal light fixture mounting plate to secure your new piece. How to use? With two shorter screws, attach the mounting plate to the electrical box. This new attachment will give you multiple options in which to secure your new light fixture.

Step 4: Connect the wires: black with black, white with white. Put both exposed ends into a plastic wire connector and twist until tight. You’ll also have grounding wire (exposed copper or green coated)—simply wrap around a flathead screw and attach to the electrical box or mounting fixture. Neatly push all wires up into electrical box.

Step 5: With two screws (I used 2 ½”), secure your new light fixture to the universal mounting plate or electrical box. Voila!

Step 6: Flip circuit breaker back on and test out your new lighting. Job well done— you didn’t die.

Get the look: Possini Euro Design Glass Pendant Chandelier

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