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DIY: How to Hang a Light Fixture from the Ceiling - Sears

DIY: How to Hang a Light Fixture from the Ceiling

Light Fixture in a Kitchen

Whether you're moving into a new home or just want to breathe new life into a room, new light fixtures open up a world of possibilities. They not only illuminate your space, but they also light up the design of any room. Hanging a new light fixture might seem intimidating, but you can knock it out in no time with the right steps and tools. Let's take a look at what you need so you can get started.

WARNING: Make sure to follow all manufacturer directions during installation. If you have any doubts about the wiring, connections or compatibility, please consult a professional.


Step 1: Turn Off the Room's Electricity

Go to your breaker, and turn off the electricity in the room where you're hanging the new fixture. If you're not sure which switch is the correct one, leave a light on and turn off the switches until the light goes out. Then cover the switch with tape to make sure it doesn't accidentally get turned back on.

Step 2: Remove the Old Fixture & Check Box

You'll need to unwrap the wiring from the old connectors to make sure the wiring is not damaged. Remove any trim and the base of the old fixture. Tighten the electric box screws if needed to ensure the new fixture will be secure.

Light fixture hanging from ceiling

Modern light fixture hanging from ceiling

Step 3: Connect the Wires

Read the manufacturer's instructions to learn how the wires should be connected for the fixture you're installing. Usually wires with the same color will be paired together. Typically, black wires are the "hot" wires that conduct current, white ones are neutral and green or bare wires are the grounding wires. The green or bare wire will connect to a green grounding screw or the grounding bar.

Use your wire strippers to remove 3/4" of the protective sheath from the wire on the fixture. Wrap this exposed part of wire with its corresponding wire from the electrical box and twist together with the pliers. Cover this with a wire connector. 

Step 4: Install the Base

Push the connected wires into the electrical box, or set them inside an open space in the base. Secure the base to the electrical boxing using the fixture's included hardware. You may need a helper nearby to hold the fixture as you attach the base.

Step 5: Screw in a Bulb & Turn the Power Back on

Screw a new light bulb into the open socket of your fixture. When that is complete, go back to the circuit breaker and turn power back on to the room. You should have light once you flick the switch. If not, shut the power off to the room again and check to make sure the wiring connection didn't come undone.

Step 6: Attach the Finishing Pieces

Now that you know the light has been successfully connected you can put the finishing touches on the fixture by installing any domes, shades and trim.

Lantern-style fixture in kitchen