Parts of a Ceiling Light

Written by sara melone
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Parts of a Ceiling Light
Most ceiling lights look similar when taken apart. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

With the exception of recessed lighting fixtures that are specially designed to install flush with the ceiling, most ceiling lights are installed in virtually the same manner. Although the lighting fixtures may vary significantly depending on your style selection, whether you choose a chandelier, a dome light or track lighting, chances are any ceiling light you pick will have some commonly recognisable parts to guide you through installation and repair.

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Ceiling Outlet Box

A ceiling outlet box is usually installed by an electrician and should already be in place if you are replacing an existing ceiling light fixture. In some cases you may need to install one yourself, but they are readily available from most home improvement stores. The ceiling outlet box houses the electrical wires that are connected to the ceiling light to provide power.

Mounting Bracket

Some ceiling lights are installed with a mounting bracket, or strap. The strap is a narrow strip of metal that screws into the ceiling outlet box and provides additional support for the ceiling light fixture.

Fixture Plate

Many styles of ceiling lights may have a piece known as a fixture plate. For a single bulb ceiling light fixture, the plate may be a one-piece ceramic light bulb holder with a light bulb socket that mounts flush with the ceiling. Some ceiling light fixtures and chandeliers are designed with a decorative fixture plate that mounts against the ceiling and covers the electrical opening in the ceiling.

Light Bulbs

All ceiling lights have at least one light bulb component which generates light. The fixture may be as simple as one exposed bulb, or you may have a dome fixture with one to four light bulbs. Track light ceiling fixtures are designed to be expandable and allow you to add and remove additional lighting as you need. Depending on the style, a chandelier can have three or four light bulbs, dozens of bulbs or even hundreds of light bulbs.

Decorative Parts

Depending on the type of lighting fixture you choose, you may also have other decorative components, such as a chain for a chandelier or hanging light. A ceiling light fixture may also have glass domes and covers as well as glass, plastic or paper shades that add style to the lighting fixture and help filter the level of light that shines through.

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