Light Fixture Installation

One of the most cost effective and quickest upgrades you can do to your house look by upgrading lighting and replacing light fixtures and its easy and simple electrical upgrade which will make your home brighter and appealing.

Most light fixtures come with instructions that will help you to assemble and install the light, which I recommend you read the manufacturer’s instructions before starting to replace the light fixture. This step-by-step lighting installation will help you to replace most light fixtures including sconce lights, pendant light, track light, ceiling light, wall light, and more.

Followings are simple, easy, and step by step procedure which will help you install the light fixture safely and correctly. Most light fixtures and light boxes are universal and standard, so the lighting installation procedure you will learn here will help you to be able to install most lights fixtures. To make it easier for you to install the light is good idea to take a picture of the old light’s wiring or even a video, especially when there are more than a three-conductor wire inside the box.

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When installing a light fixture, the black/red wire is hot, and the white wire is neutral and the bare is ground. Before doing anything turn off power & double check circuit with non-contact voltage tester to ensure there is no power in the light. Always turn off power for the light you want to install or remove from circuit breaker panel and if your electrical panel is not labelled or you are not sure which circuit is for the light you are replacing turn off the main breaker which will turn off electricity to your entire house.

Tools you need for light installation: [Screwdrivers (4-in-1, or Philips, flat, Roberson), non-contact circuit tester, pliers, wire strippers, wire cutter, safety glasses, ladder, flashlight, and wire connectors (wire nuts)]

CAUTION: Whenever working with electrical, being careful and caution are number one priority and make sure you follow the electrical code and building code requirements, and first check with your local electrical code authority if you are allowed to do that electrical task if not contact a licensed electrician. If you are not sure about your home wiring hire a certified electrician. And always turn off the power before doing anything. For light fixture installation & FREE ELECTRICAL QUOTES contact our Edmonton electricians.

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How to Replace a Light Fixture

1. Start by reading manufacturer’s instructions and assemble the new light as much as possible
2. Turn off the power from electrical panel by flipping off the breaker that feeds the light fixture you are going to replace
3. Confirm that the electricity is off by turning the light switch off and on
4. Remove the old light fixture by removing light bulbs, light cover, canopy, hardware and unscrewing the mounting bracket and this is when you will see existing light’s wires and connections and use a non-contact voltage tester to make sure there is no power
5. Take a picture of existing wires to make sure you remember how its wired and wire the new light same way. This is especially useful when there are more than a three-conductor wire in the box
6. After making sure there is no power disconnect the wires and remove old light fixture
7. Install the mounting bracket and hardware for new light fixture on ceiling light box
8. Connect the light wires to the wires in the box with same colors (black-to-black, white-to-white, green-to-green or bare) and pull each wire nut to confirm that the connection is tight, then push the wires into the box.
9. Mount the new light fixture on mounting bracket, install bulbs and cover for new light. (Note: make sure you check light fixture base rating and install bulbs that are maximum wattage or less than what is indicate in the base of light fixture)
10. Turn on the electricity by flipping the breaker on and enjoy your new light

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How to Install a Light Fixture

The following are simple and easy techniques to correctly and safely install a light fixture:

1. Start by reading the light’s manufacturer’s instructions on how to assemble and install the light fixture
2. First start by turning off power at the breaker panel
3. Use a non-contact voltage tester to make sure there is no power
4. Ensure the light box is well fasten and properly supported if it’s not fasten & support it
5. Install the mounting bracket for new light fixture and secure it properly
6. Connect the white wire of light box to white wire of light fixture (neutral-to-neutral) twist the ends of wires together clockwise then screw wire nut on twisted wires, and do the same for black wires and ground wires (always twist same-colored wires together clockwise then twist a wire connector over them)
7. Then mount the light fixture to the light mounting bracket
8. Screw the light bulb into the light fixture and install the light’s canopy
9. Turn the power on at the breaker panel and then turn on the light switch

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How to Replace a Pull-Chain Light

This might be the easiest light to replace, the pull-chain light doesn’t have metal body that is exposed so you will only need to connect black and white wires to the light. Following are installation instructions.

1. First you will need to turn off the power from breaker box
2. Test the circuit with non-contact voltage tester to make sure the power is off
3. Remove the old light by unscrewing the light then unscrew wires
Then start installing the new light as follow:
4. Connect white striped wire to white screw, then twist it around screw clockwise and fasten the screw
5. Connect black striped wire to gold screw, then twist it around screw clockwise and fasten the screw
6. Screw the two screws that hold the light to box
7. Turn on the power and pull chain light is ready to use

CAUTION: Whenever working with electrical, being careful and caution are number one priority and make sure you follow electrical code and building code requirements, and first check with your local electrical code authority if you are allowed to do that electrical task if not contact a licensed electrician or If you are not sure about your home wiring hire a certified electrician. For all types of light fixture installation, contact our Edmonton electricians or check our website, we also offer 24/7 electrical service and repairs to make sure your family is safe, and your businesses are running.

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Safety Tips on How to Install a Light Fixture

1. First turn off the power from breaker box [the electricity from street comes to your house trough your electrical meter and from electrical meter goes to the main breaker panel to main breaker then from there to branch circuit breakers and finally to your home plugs, lights and appliances] So, each light will be connected to a branch circuit breaker and you will need to turn off the breaker for the light circuit breaker.
2. If your electrical panel is not labelled and you are not sure which circuit is for the light you are going to install, then turn off the main breaker which will shut down power to entire house.
3. Shutting off power from switch doesn’t mean there is no power in the light and always turn off power form breaker box
4. Double check the light with non-contact voltage tester to make sure there is no power
5. The light’s hot wire (black) which carry current and white wire is neutral and bare/green wire is ground
6. Most lights have metal parts that are exposed, they need to be grounded by connecting the green screw on mounting bracket to ground to make it safe and meet the electrical code installation requirements.
7. Ensure the light fixture is grounded and you have three conductors (black, white, bare) inside the box
8. Ensure that you follow the polarity and connect the wires with same polarity (hot-to-hot, neutral-to-neutral, and ground-to-ground) wires
9. Whenever you are installing a heavy light fixture make sure the electrical box is secure and supported to support light fixture’s weight
10. Some national and local electrical code require a licensed electrician to install a light fixture. Check with your local electrical code authority if you are allowed to install a light and if you need an electrical permit to install a light.
11. Ensure you install light bulbs with same wattage that light is rated or lower wattage. (If you install bulbs that are higher wattage than what light is rated for it might cause fire).
12. Always follow the electrical code requirements and manufacturer’s instructions

CAUTION: Whenever working with electrical, always first turn off the power from breaker box and make sure you follow electrical code requirements, and first check with your local electrical code authority if you are allowed to do that electrical task if not contact a licensed electrician or If you are not sure about your home wiring hire a certified electrician. For all types of light fixture installation, contact our Edmonton electricians or check our website, we also offer 24/7 electrical services.

Frequently asked questions about light fixture installations

Can I install light at my home?
It’s better to check with your local electrical safety authority and electrical code to see is you are allowed to install a light.

Can I install a light on a 3-way switch?
Yes, a light can be installed on a three-way switch, four-way switch, single pole switch, dimmer switch, and smart switch.

Can I install a light without ground?
Installing a light or any electrical devices and equipment’s without ground are not allowed by electrical code and not safe.

Can I install a light with aluminum wiring?
Yes, it can be done, but you will need to use anti-oxide wile connecting copper wires to the aluminum wires to prevent oxidization between copper and aluminum wires.

Why lighting choices and lighting industry is changing?
The main factors driving the changes in lighting industry are energy efficiency, lighting colors, and style toward reducing energy consumption, more colorful and stylish lights.

What to consider when choosing a light bulb?
Longevity, energy efficiency, environmentally friendliness, and bulb’s wattage & voltage has to match the light base maximum wattage & voltage.

What will the lighting standards move toward in future?
Considering rise on energy cost, carbon tariffs, and global warming the future of lighting is energy efficiency and environmentally friendly lighting technologies.

What are some different types of bubs (lamps)?
T12, T8, T5, marine, show case, reflector, incandescent, B, BA, CA, F, G, S, M, T-shape, black light, infrared, silver, left & thread, signal, bug, and etc.

What is a lumen?
Lumen is the unit of light, brighter lights are higher lumens, and dimmer light are lower lumens.

What are different light bulbs base sockets?
Common bulb’s bases are standard, medium, small screw-based sockets, incandescent bases, and etc.

What CFL mean?
It means compact fluorescent lamp and they contain mercury.

What are the most lasting light bulbs?
LED then CFL then incandescent bulbs.

How can I dispose CFL Bulbs?
CFL bulbs contain mercury, so we recommend you recycle them on special places of CFL bulb disposal and recycling.

If I am building a new house when should I plan for lighting?
Its recommended that you design your lighting with your architectural plans and lighting has to be integrated and considered from design and start of the project.

What should I consider on lighting choices and design?
Energy efficiency, look, longevity and environmentally friendliness.

How much should I budget for lighting?
This depend on the types of lights you choose as quality, look, efficiency, and style.

What is LED retrofit?
It is rewiring and re-structuring traditional lights to update them to take LED bulbs and LED fittings. This is cost effective way to switch from traditional lighting to LED and energy efficient lighting.

Can I use lights build in my floors and stairways?
Yes, there are specific lights that are manufactured to be used in-the-floor, stairways, landscaping and more.

Can I use lights in hot sauna or stem sauna?
Yes, you can as long as you buy the lights that are designed for sauna and are rated for the temperature of your sauna and they need special wiring according to electrical code requirements.

Where can I use LED lights?
You can use LED lights anywhere that you are allowed to use traditional lights as long as they are rated for such location, example, if you are using led for exterior, they have to be rated exterior use. Before using and installing LED lights check their manufacturer’s instructions.

What is Light’s IP?
It’s the level of protection for lights to be used on moisture and exterior locations.

What are the functions of decorative light vs architectural light?
Decorative lights are designed for both look and light but architectural lights are mostly designed for light and less for look.

What is smart lighting?
They are light fixture that are connected to WiFi and are able to communication with smart devices that will enable you to control them through internet and from remote. Smart lights are main future of smart home’s lighting.

Can I control my lighting form my smart phone?
All smart lightings are controllable from all smart devices and from remote locations.

What can I control remotely when my home is smart home?
Almost everything in smart home is wirelessly and remotely controllable including (lighting, cooling, heating, security, audio, video, etc).

What are motions sensors?
Motion sensors are wall or ceiling sensors that control lights based on motion, when someone moves the sensor will turn on the lights and if there is no movement for certain period of time (1,5, 15, 20, 30…) minutes it will turn of the lights.

What is a motions sensor light?
It’s a light that motion sensor is built into it.

What are occupancy sensors?
Occupancy sensors are wall or ceiling sensors that control the lights based on motion & light, when someone moves or get dark the sensor will turn on the lights and if there is no movement/ or there is light for certain period of time (1, 3,5, 15, 20, 30, …) minutes it will turn the lights off.

What is occupancy sensor light?
It’s a light that occupancy sensor is built into it.

What are voice sensors?
Voice sensors are wall or ceiling sensors that control the lights based on voice, when there is voice the sensor will turn on the lights and if there is no voice for certain period of time (1, 3,5, 15, 20, 30,…) minutes, will turn off the lights.

What is a voice sensor light?
It’s a light that voice sensor is built into it.

What are photocells?
Photocells are sensors that control the lights based on light and mostly installed in exterior to turn the lights on at night (dark) and turn the lights off on daytimes (light).

What is a photocell light?
It’s a light that photocell is built into it.

What are advantages of pots lights comparing with regular lights?
Pot lights Look more stylish and provide more harmonized and even lighting.

What are advantages of LED lights?
Diversity of colors, last longer, lower electricity consumption, and more lamination.

What to consider when distancing pot lights?[1-amount of light needed, 2-lumen of each post lights, 3-size of pot lights, and 4-ceiling height]

What are the differences between 3000K, 4000K, 5000K, LED lights?
3000K or less give you yellow color light which is called warm white light.
4000K is between this two and it’s called day light and warm white light.
5000K or more is very bright and called crystal white and blue white light.

What is distance between pots lights installations? / How far can I install the pot lights?
It all depends on how much lights you need, lumen of each post lights, size of pot lights, and height of your ceilings they can be (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) feet apart.

What are advantages of LED to MR16?
LED are a lot more energy efficient, brighter, last longer, and they come with diversity of colors.

What are advantages of LED to GU10?
LED are a lot more energy efficient, brighter, last longer, and they come with diversity of colors.

What is the life span of LED lights?
LED lights last for (20,000-to-60,000) hours of usage based on quality and manufacture.

What type of pot lights can I install in attic? / what type of pot lights can I install in direct contact with insulation?
When you install pots lights that are in direct contact with insulation, they have to be IC-Rated pot lights.

Can I install dimmer on LED pot lights?
Yes, you can do that, as long as the dimmer is rated for LED lights.

What is the best way to line up pot lights?
Use Laser to create perfect line for your pot light installations to give you ideal line of pot light installation.
IC: Insulation Contact
IP: Ingress Protection
CFL: Compact Fluorescent Lamp
WiFi: Wireless Fidelity

For all types of light fixture installation, contact our Edmonton electricians or check our website, we also offer emergency electrical service and repairs.

Also Read:

What to consider on hiring an electrical contractor or Electricians

Safety Precautions When Working With Electricity

Introduction of Home Automation System – Can Electric

Understanding Electric Panels & Overview of Residential Electrical Panels