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How to Change Light Fittings

Updated March 23, 2017

Light fittings can add flair to a room's decor and enhance the overall look of a house in general. Although light fittings may seem like a small detail, in actuality they are not because almost every room in a house is equipped with them. Light fittings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so finding one to suit your taste should not prove difficult. Changing a light fitting can be an enjoyable and rewarding project if you know how to do it.

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Turn off the electricity to the light fitting. Look in your main electrical panel for the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the light fitting and move it to the "Off" position. If you cannot isolate the breaker for the light fitting, turn off the main circuit breaker.

Unscrew the cover of the light fitting. Remove the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver, and gently but firmly pull the cover away from the rest of the light fitting to expose the electrical wiring of the light fitting. Make a note of the location of the wires and how the wires are connected by colour.

Untwist the wires to disconnect the old light fitting. The wires are enclosed in wire nuts. Remove each wire nut by turning it counterclockwise. Use pliers to gently separate the wires. Clean the electrical wiring from your home with a paper towel if there is any dust.

Remove the light fitting's connecting plate. Unscrew the connecting plate from the wall to completely remove the old light fixture.

Twist the new light fitting's wires to the electrical wiring of your home, using the pliers to twist each corresponding light fixture and house wire together. Place the wires into a wire nut and twist the wire nut clockwise as if you were tightening a screw for each set of wires.

Screw the new fitting into place. Screw the new connecting plate into the wall or ceiling, and make sure it is on securely. Place the wires into the appropriate locations in the light fitting, and screw the cover plate on.

Turn the electricity back on by moving the breaker back to the "On" position. Make sure that the new light fitting is functional by turning the light switch on and off to test it.


Use an electrical tester to make sure that the wires are indeed "dead" after turning off the circuit breakers.


Never work with live electrical wires. You will run the risk of being seriously electrocuted.

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Wire nuts

About the Author

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.

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