What a year 2015 was! I hope you checked out our top posts of 2015, and if you haven’t had a chance you can check them out here. Since we are coming off such a high from 2016, we’ve decided what better way to start the new year with a mini-series?! Get ready for some serious DIY-ing!!!!
Today’s DIY tutorial? Replacing a light fixture–any light fixture–in your house!
When I moved into my new house last year, one of the features I fell most in love with was the gorgeous floor to ceiling MASSIVE fireplace in the open concept living room. After I moved in though, I realized that I hated the way this massive fireplace looked, for a few reasons:
- The sconces looked so ancient they belong in a museum,
- The fireplace door looked straight out of the 80s! Gold – YUCK!
- It’s BEIGE/Brown brick. – Did I mention I HATE beige? – Oh…and I hate painted brick.
I knew if I was ever going to feel at home I had to fix these three things, and in this mini-series I’m going to show you how to do just that!
Today I’m going to show you how to replace the sconces like a pro! Keep reading for the all the juicy details!
The 80’s Came Back to Haunt Me
Replacing the light fixture
I knew I needed to get rid of those awful sconces. When I told people about the hideous brassy gold their response was “Oh, well….I heard gold is back in!” but in my head I was screaming “Heck no!” In my mind gold will never ever ever ever be back in. I knew normal boring sconces would just not work for the vision I had for my home. I teamed up with Parrot Uncle and found these AMAZING Sconces. I was in love with their selection of lighting options. It took me days just to decide on the style I liked the most. I have a very particular style when it comes to decorating. I don’t fall into Antique or Modern, I’m a mix of different elements that work, and Parrot Uncle was up for the job! They also have some amazing Pendant Lighting including their Industrial Pendant Lighting selection that I’m currently drooling over for when I update my dining room.
Many people are deathly afraid of dealing with anything electrical. Don’t be! Changing out light fixtures is an easy DIY project, and it only take a few minutes to do! Such a small change can completely transform a room, and I’m going to show you step -by-step what to do, so you don’t have to be afraid!
Step 1: Turn off the power (Unless you like being electrocuted)!
Now, I’ve never been electrocuted, and quite frankly, I never want to find out what it feels like. So before you do anything turn off that power! You need to locate the electrical box and flip off the breaker to that area of your house. If your breaker isn’t labeled I recommend turning on the light before you flip the switches. If the light is off when you return, you’re safe!
Step 2: Remove the old light!
Removing the old light will be a slightly different process for each light. Usually there will be one or two screws that are holding the old light to the bracket. Unscrew them, and you will be able to (mostly) remove the old light! There will be two wires still attached to the interior of the electrical component. If there are four wires, like mine, that’s okay.
There is going to be some form of bracket screwed into the electrical box, and you’ll need to remove the screws. Once that’s done, and you have removed the bracket, you’ll need to remove the wire connectors. These usually are twist-on wire connectors so you just need to un-twist them counter clockwise to remove the connector. Getting the wires apart may be difficult as they were twisted together, but you will need to get the wires separated. Once the wires are separated the old light fixture will be able to be completely removed.
Step 3: Install the new bracket!
For me, this was the trickiest step, mostly because the new bracket had to be installed either perfectly horizontally or vertically for the base of the new lights to be installed correctly. I only discovered this after I installed it and realized the base was at a 35 degree angle. Luckily, the brackets from Parrot Uncle have several different ways to install their brackets, which are based on your electrical component box. I screwed in the new bracket, and pulled the wires through the large center whole to make them easier to work with.
Step 4: The ground wire: Say what?
My old lighting fixture did not have a ground wire which made me sad inside. Ground wires are a savior and help your lights as it both protects the electrical system itself, and also provides safety for your house. Not having a ground wire was the standard practice when my house was built in 1985. So, when my shiny new light fixture had one, I was overjoyed! The bracket is marked with the letters “GND” and has a sticker with a screw on it. What this means is that this is the hole for your ground wire screw.
You’ll have to take the ground screw and screw it partially into the hole. Then, take the plain copper wire (the ground wire) and wrap it around the screw. Tighten the screw, and you have installed your ground wire!
Step 5: Why are there two more wires?
Once you have your ground wire connected, if you’re looking at the two remaining wires and thinking that I’m crazy for saying this is easy…It is! All you have to do, is match up the black wires with the black wires, the white wires with the white wires and reinstall the wire connectors by twisting them all together!
Step 6: Is it Over yet? ALMOST!
All you have left to do at this point is to install the actual light fixture to the bracket. This is as simple as matching up the holes on the bracket to the fixture and screwing in the screws.
If your light fixture is like mine, you will screw in the light fixture and place the glass finish over the light bulb.
Step 7: WHY WON’T THE LIGHT TURN ON?!
You need to flip your breaker back on silly! Now you’re done!
I’ve installed multiple light fixtures in my new house, and they are all the same way! Go enjoy your new light fixtures and go brag to your friends about your newly learned skill!
Stay tuned for next Friday, when I show you how I completely revitalized that brassy door!
I graduated from a local college with my BBA in management and currently work for a major insurance company.In my spare time I LOVE sewing and spending time with my family!
Latest posts by Sarah (see all)
- Fireplace Makeover Part 3 – Paint Faux Bricks - January 22, 2016
- Fireplace Makeover – Part 2: Revamping a Fireplace Door - January 15, 2016
- Fireplace Makeover Part I – Replace a Light Fixture - January 8, 2016