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Since new ceiling light fixtures come with mounting hardware, replacing an existing unit is easy—even for the novice do-it-yourselfer. Remove the old fixture. Turn off electricity to the room at the main circuit breaker panel.

Double-check that power has been cut by locating and testing the light switch that controls your ceiling fixture. Next, carefully unscrew and remove the canopy of the old fixture. With the junction box visible, remove the wire nuts and separate the supply wiring from the old fixture.

Project guide

Carefully examine the wires for damage, and if none are frayed or broken, leave the wires exposed for the new fixture. Examine the junction box.

Having confirmed that your existing junction box is securely fastened to the ceiling joist, make sure it will be sturdy enough to handle the weight of your replacement fixture. If the new fixture weighs substantially more than the old one, it may be necessary to install an accessory mounting strap or support rod. Either can be installed next to the junction box so that, once installed, the fixture hides the hardware.

If installing a hanging light fixture, guide the wiring through the supporting chain or cable. Most hanging lights have a supporting chain or cable, through which or next to the wires should be threaded or hung. Carefully guide the fixture wires through the canopy, ceiling plate, and hanging bracket of your new fixture.

Strip about a half-inch off of the fixture wires and about a half-inch off of the supply wires. Connect the wires.

Most new fixtures are color-coded with black and white wire. If the light works, that means your wiring connections have been successful.

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Before continuing, turn the circuit breaker off again. Secure the fixture. Screw the ceiling plate to the mounting strap or support rod, then put the mounting stem onto the ceiling plate.

At this point, make sure that the installation is secure and that the fixture is hanging at the proper height. If the chain is too long, you can remove links or loop the extra chain around the mounting stem. Slide the canopy into place so that it covers the mounting hardware; tighten the locknut to hold the canopy in place.

Finally, install the correct bulbsturn the electricity back on, and admire the radiance of your new ceiling light fixture! Disclosure: BobVila.

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