Ahanging ceiling fixture is more than simply a light source. It’s a focal point for the interior décor of the home. We recently upgraded a ceiling fixture with a new chandelier from Lamps Plus, the nation’s largest lighting retailer. This lighting fixture was located above the staircase we recently remodeled and made a beautiful “crown jewel” to deco- rate the space. The homeowner selected the Lacey 28″ Wide Round Black Chandelier to replace a smaller (and outdated) pendant. The result was a dramatic improvement to the look and feel of the home’s front foyer. Replacing an out-of-style ceiling fixture not only updates the look of a room, but the manner in which it casts light can also dramatically impact the ambience of the living space. Hanging fixtures range in style from elegant chain-mounted chandeliers and sparkling art-deco crystal fixtures to modern geomet- ric wood designs with candle-style lighting. The available fixture designs really seem endless. Regardless of style, a major concern when selecting a replace- ment feature is to ensure that the box, ceiling and wiring will support the weight of the fixture. For a new fixture that weighs approximately
the same as the old one, the exist- ing electrical box will probably suf- fice. However, if the replacement is heavier, the ceiling box may need to be replaced to support the extra weight. Replacing a light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. Following a few simple safety guidelines, a DIY homeowner can replace a fixture successfully (although the work should probably be inspected by a professional, so check with local authorities to see if a permit is required).
OUT WITH THE OLD Before making your first move, turn off the power at the breaker box. Do this by flipping a circuit breaker or unscrewing a fuse. Use a voltage tester to make sure the power is off. We wanted the new fixture to hang approximately at the same height as the old, so we measured the old light’s position before removing it. When removing the old fixture, it helps to use a work platform fastened to a ladder to support the weight of the fixture while you remove the mounting screws from the electrical box. With the screws out, pull off the box cover. The wires should be twisted together and capped with a wire nut. Before you disconnect any wiring, a good DIY trick is to take a few photos at different angles to show how to reconnect the new fixture to the house wiring. To disconnect the old fixture, just unscrew the wire nuts and untwist the wire pairs. Note: If you have aluminum wiring, you should avoid working on it and call an electrician, because special techniques are required to make the connections.
Replace a Hanging Light Fixture
By Matt Weber