How to Add a Light Fixture to an Existing Circuit

Updated February 21, 2017

Changing a ceiling fixture in the home can have a dramatic effect. Hanging a chandelier or a flush-mounted light can change the feel of the room. Many ceilings have an existing circuit available for hanging a light. It doesn't require a great amount of electrical skill. But doing so safely so there isn't any injury to you during the hanging, or injury later due to a falling fixture, requires attention to detail.

Turn off the electricity to the room you are working in at the circuit breaker.

Place a wood block into the middle of the metal electrical box in the ceiling. Hit the block with a hammer to knock free the old mounting bar attached above the electrical box. Pull the electrical box and the old mounting bar out of the ceiling.

Insert the mounting bar that comes with the new electrical box into the ceiling. Twist it until it is tightly in place. Slide the mounting saddle attached to the bar over the hole in the ceiling.

Insert the new electrical box into the ceiling. Tighten screws through the electrical box into the mounting saddle.

Cut a short length of copper wire and wrap it around the grounding screw of the electrical box. Tighten the mounting screw so the wire is held tight.

Insert screws through the holes of the mounting strap included with the light to attach it to the ceiling.

Strip the wires of the light back 1/4 inch with a wire stripper. Wrap the wires coming from the ceiling with the corresponding wires of the light. Attach black to black, white to white and the green wire from the light to the bare copper wire in the electrical box. Twist wire connectors over the wires to secure them.

Attach the light fixture canopy to the mounting strap using the screws provided.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Wood block
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire connectors
  • Light kit
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