How to install light fittings

Updated February 21, 2017

Lights in a house can attract or detract attention to the details that make a house special. When you buy new light fittings, it is essential they be installed correctly to reveal the craftsmanship of your home. Before you begin your light installation project, however, the first thing you want to do is to check city codes concerning electrical wiring to make sure it is permissible for homeowners to do their own minor electrical work.

Turn off the breaker that controls the power to the junction box where the light fitting is to be installed. This will be located in the electric panel where the electricity comes into the house. Gain access to the junction box as needed with a stepladder. There will be some steps involving the use of both hands at the same time so you want to be certain the ladder will not move while you are working.

Inspect the wires in the junction box to be sure there are at least ½-inch of bare wiring exposed. If needed, strip the wire insulation away to that point with the wire strippers.

Place the white wire from the light fitting along side the white wire in the junction box so that the bare ends of the wires are facing the same direction. Insert the two wires into a wire nut and twist the nut in a clockwise direction until they are tight.

Repeat Step 3 for the remaining wires and wrap each connection in electrical tape. Next, insert the mounting screws into the holes on the junction box and screw them in until they will stay; do not tighten them all the way yet.

Push the wires into the junction box and align the mounting holes on the light fitting with the screws on the junction box. Push the light fitting against the junction box and secure it with the variable speed drill and the Phillips head screw tip.


Use vinyl or PVC electrical tape with medium to very sticky adhesive. Be sure that the wire nuts are secure and will not slip off.


Always turn the electricity off to the area that you are working in. Always cover bare wires with electrical tape to prevent injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Variable speed drill
  • Phillips head screw tip
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About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.