How to Easily Change Out Lighting in a Home: 5 Steps for the BeginnerThe Newlywed Notebook

The Newlywed Notebook



March 2014

How to Easily Change Lighting in the Home

Written by Lindsay Ropella

Hey, I’m Eric, Lindsay’s husband. She wanted me to write a post today about how we change out the lighting in our home, since I do most of the electrical work. I know she’s gotten a few questions about how specifically to change a lighting fixture because of this post, so I wrote it out in a few easy steps.

We forgot to take pictures along the way as we were switching out the lights, but we are probably going to make another lighting change again in the next few weeks, so we will take pictures and add them to this post at that time. Thanks for understanding.



How to Change Out A Basic Light In Your Home (No Fan or Dimmer)

Step 1: The most important step – Shut off power at the breaker. Go back to the fixture you are changing out and flip the switch to ensure power is off. Once you confirm that the power is off, you can begin removing the existing light fixture.


Step 2: Remove the existing fixture and disconnect the wires from the ceiling box that connect to the existing fixture. To do this simply remove the wire nuts and separate the wires. Pull the the wires out from the ceiling box a little so they are accessible to connect to the new light fixture.


Step 3: Determine if you are able to use the bracket that is connected to the ceiling box (from the old light). Often times the bracket provided with the new fixture will be the same as the one from the old fixture. If this is not the case, go ahead and remove the old bracket and install the new one. It just gets screwed in place exactly where the old one was located.


Step 4: Connect the fixture to the wires in the ceiling box. Black to Black, White to White and Ground to Ground. IMPORTANT: be sure all wires in the ceiling box are capped with a wire nut. Any exposed wires is a fire hazard.


Note: depending on the number of switches that can turn on the fixture, you can have different arrangements of wires in the ceiling box, but don’t let that confuse you. For a standard light fixture you just need to connect the black to black, white to white, and ground to ground utilizing the same wires from the ceiling box that the old light fixture connected to. There are no other wire connections needed. Just be sure to cap any exposed wires with a wire nut, but they don’t have to be connected to anything.


Step 5: Secure the fixture to the lighting bracket with the provided hardware. Turn breaker back on and admire your work.


Troubleshooting: If your light doesn’t work the first time you try and switch it on, just shut the power back off and try again. Keep the black with the black, and the white with the white, but try exchanging the ground wire from the fixture with another loose wire in the lighting box. You may have just gotten confused with which one is the ground wire if there are a lot of extra wires in there.


Changing out a light really isn’t too difficult. All lights should come with a set of directions anyway. And if all else fails, watch a few youtube videos and try again. Good luck!


A few Quick Thoughts From Lindsay
(because be honest, did you really think I would be able to give up full control?)


Again, we are SO sorry that we had a blogger brain fart and forgot to take pictures during the past few lighting swaps. Honestly, I just didn’t think it was all that interesting. But I know it would be very helpful for the few of you who really would like to know exactly how this is done for your own homes, so I will make sure to add some soon!


Also, I thought it might be nice to give you a run-down for the rest of the week so you can plan to check back for the posts that sound interesting to you!

Friday is double post day! In the morning, guess blogger Uma will share with us her awesome ideas for how to spruce up your backyard for the Spring and Summer while on a budget. Then, in the afternoon, I will share my Friday Confessions. I know I seem to say it every week, but this week really was a doozy!

Saturday I will be sharing some of my favorite products that I’ve been loving this month. It will include everything from makeup to clothes to things around the home!

Sunday I don’t post, but Eric and I will be attempting to film a few videos for you all on Sunday! It may be a disaster so cross your fingers for us! If all goes well with those I will be posting a “Husband Tag” and a “Couples 123″ tag next week!

Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned yet, but Eric and I leave for vacation a week from tomorrow! Where are we going? Well I’m going to keep that a secret for a bit – but we are both super excited because we’ve never been to these places before. You better believe I will be posting tons of pictures!


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  • Paige Gunter

    Thank you, Lindsay! That is so sweet of your husband. I will have to save this for future reference. :)