Installing a new light fixture...easier than you think!

I am a relatively impatient person when it comes to "remodeling." I want it done and I want it all done right now.

One of the things I wanted to do in my laundry room was install a new light fixture. 

The old one is a "boob light."  Boob light you ask?  Look at it closely....

But I wasn't quite sure what I wanted. I just knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I thought I might like a little chandelier fixture...but they are pretty pricey.  I bought two "modern" semi-flush mount lights several months ago but they didn't put off a lot of light so I put them in the hall and my master closet. 

Today, as with most days, I was at Lowe's picking up paint and supplies.  As usual, I cruised through the lighting isle and spotted this really nifty fixture on the clearance table!

It was a special order that was originally $137 but was marked down to $48 (or so it says). I'm not real keen on the bright chrome finish, but I like the "bones" and I knew I could paint it!  It takes 3 40W halogen bulbs, so it is pretty much equivalent to what I have in the boob light!

It didn't have any of the installation hardware, but Lowe's has pretty much anything you need to install fixtures.

Installing a new light fixture is not hard at all!  Just be warned, if you replace a fixture with one with a smaller "base" than what you have, there is a good chance you might have to paint your ceiling.  I was able to wipe away the ring the old fixture left, but if I look closely, I can see where the old was. 

Anywho, I want to make something clear.  I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN!!! And if you honestly have absolutely NO idea what you are doing when it comes to electrical, or if you live in a older home that has funky electrical, I would strongly suggest you call an electrician.  Seriously, the cost will be minimal if you have your fixture on hand and it would be worth the money if you are clueless! I can do minimal my opinion, this is "minimal." 

That being said, the first thing you want to do ANY time you mess with electrical is TURN OFF THE POWER!! Now honestly, you can turn the switch off at the wall and the power will be off to the fixture.  But I strongly suggest you shut the power off at the power box! 

Once the power is off, you will need to remove the old fixture.  With the boob light, I just removed the glass globe by unscrewing the little decorative nut on the bottom of the globe.  Then I removed the bulbs and located the two little screws that are holding the base to the ceiling...

I just loosened the two screws a tad and twisted the drops right down, exposing the electrical wiring from the ceiling box to the fixture. 


Remove the little "wire nuts" (the little yellow plastic things...your's may not be yellow) ...remember, lefty losey, righty to loosen them, turn them to the left, or counter-clockwise.  Keep in mind, once you remove the wire nuts, the fixture is coming down!

Now you should have a black wire, a white wire and a bare copper wire.  You will see the mounting bracket. It will be secured to the box with two screws.

If your new light fixture installs like the old, skip this step and move on to wiring the light fixture!

Some light fixtures mount with a threaded bolt in the center of the bracket, some with two screws with the screw heads down (like shown) and some with two screws with the threaded end of the screw sticking down.  

This would also be a good time to refer to the new fixture's instructions.

My new fixture mounted with two screws with the threads down, so I had to remove the bracket from the box and change the screws.  To remove the bracket, just unscrew the two screw securing it to the box. 

After turning the mounting screws around so that the thread side is down, I reinstalled the bracket on the box. Make sure your bracket is securely anchored to the light box!

After reinstalling the bracket, you can wire the new fixture.

Most fixtures will have 1 black, 1 white and 1 green (neutral).  Some may have 2-3 of each if it has 2-3 "bulb sockets" that were not wired together inside the light fixture .  No biggy...just twist all the like colors together. Then twist the fixture wires and the wires from the box together (black to black, white to white) and twist on the wire nuts (clockwise). You can test to see if they are secure by "tugging" on the wires.  If they all stay securely in the wire nut, you should be good to go.  If one comes loose, untwist the wire nut, twist the wires together, and again screw on the wire nut.

The green/bare wires are the ground wires.  You do not have to secure them with a wire nut, but they should be "looped" together securely.  Or you can attach the green/bare wire from the fixture onto the little green screw that is on the bracket.

Once you have reconnected the wires securely, shove them up into the box and "mount" you new fixture.  

My fixture had two little holes in the base that the two mounting screws in the bracket (the ones I switched so the threads are down) protruded through.  I screwed little decorative round "nuts" tightly onto the screws, securing the fixture flush against the ceiling. 

Now you can turn the power on and make sure your fixture works.  Mine did not.  But before I went to all the trouble of turning the power back off and taking the fixture down to check the wiring, I replaced the bulbs. Thankfully it was just bad bulbs...ALL THREE OF THEM!!!! And these little suckers aren't cheap!

I had a tenant call me one day...her light fixture was bad.  I went in and changed the light bulb.  Seems the NEW bulbs she had were bad.  It happens!

Regardless, I like the fixture.  I might paint it...I might not.  The hardware in the laundry room is brushed nickel, so I probably shouldn't leave this fixture bright chrome...but honestly, I kind of like it.  Maybe if I ever get around to painting the ceiling, I'll paint the fixture.

I also picked up a few stems of Gerber daisies while I was at the craft store last week...

I like the little pop of color!