Do it yourself!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How to Hang a New Light

Installing a new chandelier or light fixture in your living room, dining room, kitchen, or other area can have a drastic effect on the look and feel of a room.  While many people believe that ceiling fixtures are permanent or that professionals must be called in when a change is desired, the truth is that you can wire and hang your new light yourself.  This articles aims to explain all of the necessary steps you will need to follow in order to properly and safely hang and install your new light fixture.

When you are ready to get started, you will want to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools on hand.  This includes not only the new fixture, but a screwdriver, a pair of rubber coated pliers, a drill, a ladder, a wire cutter with rubber coated handles, and a circuit tester.  With these tools in hand, you will want to turn off the power to the circuit.  Remove any screws holding the old fixture in place while using your hands to balance it and ensure that it does not fall.  Use your circuit tester to check the exposed wires in order to be certain that there is no power to the area.

Once you are certain that there is no electrical current flowing through the wires, disconnect the wires from the old fixture.  Remove the cap over the ends of the wires and untwist them.  You will then want to remove the mounting bracket from the old fixture.  When this is completed, you will want to examine the new bracket and find the neutral wire.  The insulation on the neutral wire should be white, making it easier to identify.  Use your wire cutters to remove about one half inch of insulation from the wire while taking caution not to cut the wire itself.

Next, you will want to find the hot wire, which will have black insulation.  Using the wire cutters again, you will want to remove a half inch of the black insulation, again taking caution not to cut the wires themselves.  When this is done, do the same for the grounding wire, which will have green insulated coating around the wire.

Once all 3 wires are exposed at the ends, connect the green wire to the ground wire in the ceiling.  Twist the wires together and put a wire cap on the end.  You will then want to do the same for the black wires and then the white wires.  With all of the wires capped, push them into the ceiling and attach the mounting bracket over the hole with your mounting screws.  Put the fixture into place and mark the spots where the anchors will go into the ceiling.  Use your drill to create holes over the marks and put the bracket back into place.  Screw the anchors into the holes to secure the fixture and restore power to the circuit.  Once you have ensured that everything is working you can simply put the cover on the fixture.  Congratulations, you have just hung and installed your brand new lights!


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