How to install pull chain light fixtures

Written by damon koch
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How to install pull chain light fixtures
Follow these instructions to install a pull chain light fixture. (Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A pull chain light fixture is especially convenient for closets, but can be installed just about anywhere. A standard pull chain light fixture consists of a ceramic base with a light socket and, of course, the chain that operates the switch. The fixture is connected to the home's electrical system and mounted to the electrical box in the ceiling. The entire job is completed in about a half an hour, even by the inexperienced.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wire strippers
  • Pencil
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Anchors
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Driver bit

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  1. 1

    Switch off the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the area of the home where the fixture is being installed.

  2. 2

    Pull the electrical wires out of the box in the ceiling where the fixture is being connected. Separate the wires and straighten them. You will find a black or red wire, a white wire and possibly a copper wire.

  3. 3

    Strip 5 cm (2 inches) of insulation from the end of each wire using wire strippers.

  4. 4

    Hold the fixture up to the ceiling and try to align the holes with the screw holes in the electrical box. If the holes do not line up, make a mark on the ceiling with a pencil in the location of the holes.

  5. 5

    Drill a hole on each pencil mark in the ceiling using an electric drill with a 1/4-inch drill bit installed. Insert anchors into the holes until they are flush with the surface of the ceiling.

  6. 6

    Loosen the terminal screws on the base of the pull chain fixture using a Phillips screwdriver. Turn the three screws counterclockwise to loosen them.

  7. 7

    Wrap the black or red wire around the brass-coloured screw and tighten the screw by turning it clockwise with a Phillips screwdriver. Wrap the wire around the screw clockwise so when the screw is turned the wire will stay wrapped around the screw. Connect the white wire to the silver screw using the same process and if there is a copper wire, connect it to the green-coloured screw on the fixture.

  8. 8

    Place the fixture against the ceiling so the holes in the base align with the screw holes in the electrical box or the anchors you installed. Use an electric drill with a driver installed to insert the screws that came with the fixture through the holes in the fixture and into the screw holes in the box or into the anchors. Turn on the circuit breaker that supplies the fixture with electricity.

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