Hanging a Ceiling Light Fixture

We are in the midst of trying to switch all bulbs and/or light fixtures to LED bulbs and fixtures.  Today I switched out the ceiling fixture in the bathroom and tried my best to take pictures to document how I did it.  Switching to all LED has already almost halved our hydro bill, so it is well worth spending the initial bit of money for the new bulbs and fixtures because the savings later on will more than make up for it!

I started hanging light fixtures myself because I like to change things ALOT and I know how busy Chris can get.  I still haven’t tried doing a fixture on a double switch or hanging a ceiling fan but I am confident doing ceiling fixtures now!

NOTE:  If you haven’t done this before, make sure you have someone experienced with you the first few times… don’t just jump in like I did.  I figured I had held the flashlight or watched Chris do it enough times that I should be able to do it.  I have not hung quite a few fixtures over the years now and not one of them have had any issues!  Phew!


Hanging an LED fixture is pretty much the same as hanging a regular fixture other than it has the bulbs already built into the fixture. Hopefully I took enough pictures to make this legible.  My arms were starting to get tires and I dropped the screw cap a few times so patience wasn’t on my side at the time.  I do however have another one to hang another day and I will try to update then with more pictures!

And PLEASE, take note of what I said above.  If you haven’t don’t this before, make sure you have help the first few times.  You do not want to get electrocuted or put the wrong wires together!!!!

NOTE: Before I change out any light fixture, I always, always, always turn the power off at the breaker!  Chris does it by just switching the light switch off but I am too chicken to do that lol!!!

The first thing you are going to want to do, after turning the breaker off is to remove the old fixture. If there is a shade, it will have to come off first, followed by whatever screws are holding the existing fixture to the ceiling.

NOTE: Before you can totally remove the old fixture, you also have to unscrew the screw in the top of the electrical box that is holding the third wire, the ground wire, as this is also holding the fixture into the box. (You can see that little screw where the arrow is pointing with the copper wire wrapped around it)


Once it’s off, you will see a metal bar/bracket that the old fixture was attached to. It’s that piece of metal going through the centre of the electrical box, with a hole in the centre and a screw on each end.

The two long screws you see are what held the old fixture to this bar.


You are going to start by removing those two end screws so that the bar comes off of the electrical box.


This is where I pull the two wires (in this case two sets of wires) down and away from the box a bit and install the new bracket into the same holes the old one came out of.

Here is a picture of the “parts” package that came with this light.  There is the metal bracket as well as the screws to attach it and the marrettes to use to attach the wires together.  If you have never used them before, the marrettes are the orange pieces and they will “screw” onto the wires to attach the ones in the electrical box to the ones in the light fixture.  White to white, black to black, yellow/green to ground screw.


With this light fixture, you will notice there are not two longer screws to attach the light fixture to.  This one is held on by a screw cap to the long threaded pipe you see in the centre of the bracket.


On this new light fixture, there is a white wire, a black wire and a yellow wire with a green stripe.  The yellow wire with the green stripe is your ground wire.  You are going to wind that around the same ground screw as where you unscrewed the old ground wire. It is very important that is in snug because as the name insinuates, this “grounds” the light fixture.


Here is the picture of the ground wire again.


Once you have attached the new ground wire snugly to the ground screw, you twist together white to white wires and black to black wires and screw the marrettes onto each twist of 2 (or 3 in this case) wires, making sure they are all snug also.

You are going to retuck the wires into the electrical box, making sure nothing will get caught between the fixture and the bracket and making sure the fixture is flush with the bracket and ceiling.  Make sure the threaded pipe comes through the hole in the centre of the fixture. You can see the end of the threaded pipe in the picture below.

NOTE: You can loosen or tighten the screws you used to attach the bracket to the electrical box if there is not enough of the threaded pipe coming through the hole to screw the cap onto.


Screw the provided cap onto the threaded pipe, making sure there are enough threads to safely hold the fixture to the ceiling.


This is where I usually go down and turn the breaker back on to make sure everything is working.

If everything is working fine, you can put the shade/cover onto the new fixture and you are done!  You just hung your first ceiling fixture!

(And if you are like me, the new ceiling fixture is smaller than the old one and I now have to repaint the ceiling!!! 😦  )



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