How to wire a ceiling light

Written by billy mccarley
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Wiring a ceiling light requires attention to detail and security. Ceiling lights are difficult to install because they are suspended. When you add in the danger of electrical injury, they become even more difficult. Failure to wire a ceiling light correctly will result in damage to the light, breaker or wiring. That being said, it is a doable project for the average homeowner; follow the instructions carefully, and you'll successfully complete the project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire nuts
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tester
  • Wire pliers

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  1. 1

    Turn off all power to the main wiring supply line. The main wiring that will feed the ceiling light should be 12-2 or 14-2 insulated interior wiring. You should have 2 to 3 inches protruding from the ceiling box, and the wiring should have all of its skin attached.

  2. 2

    Check the power supply in the wiring with an electrical tester. There are great electrical testers you can use to touch the outside of the power wire and check for power. Do this for peace of mind.

  3. 3

    Attach the ground wire from the ceiling light to the ceiling box. The ceiling box--the round box the light will affix to--will have a green screw to which you can attach the bare copper wires of the main wiring and the fixture wiring.

  4. 4

    Strip the wires with your wire strippers. Connect the black and white wires from the main supply wire to the black and white wires of the ceiling light. Twist the wires together with wire pliers and secure them using a wire nut. The wire nut will screw onto the end of the electrical wires that have been twisted together. Wrap electrical tape around the wire nut so that it will remain tight.

  5. 5

    Attach the ceiling light to the ceiling box. The ceiling box will have two small screws opposite each other and on the bottom of the box, facing down. Slide the ceiling light onto the screws and tighten the screws down using a screwdriver. Insert a light bulb and turn on the breaker.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that all power is turned off at the breaker when you are working with electrical wiring.

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