How to Change a Light Fixture Without Getting Shocked


Hi, I’m Jenna, a busy mom of 3 boys, and the author & photographer here at My goal is for you and your family to LOVE the home you live in. I’ll show you how to create a home that looks good, feels good, and functions well!

Step 6: Secure The Connections

Wire nuts twist the wires around each other while securing them. Give each wire nut a pull to confirm that the connection is tight. Wrap a couple of inches of electrical tape around the wire and nut to secure the connection.


Step 8: Install The Bulbs And Globe

Check the fixture base to determine the maximum wattage bulb that can be installed. After screwing in the proper bulb, restore power and test.

Connect The Wires

Step 1: The black wire gets twisted together with the black wire. Ditto the white. Turn them in a clockwise manner.

Step 2: Then screw those little conical caps over the twisted-together wires, also turning them clockwise until they resist. (Lightly, no need to turn much past the first resistance.)

Step 3: Next, attach the green ground wire to the ground screw on the electrical box. It will likely be green itself or will say “ground.”

Step 4: Push the excess wiring up into the box area so it won’t be pinched by the fixture.

Step 5: Prep for the new fixture

Start by adding the new mounting bracket that came with your fixture to the electrical box. Typically, these have a hollow threaded rod that extends down that will eventually support the weight of the fixture. Before you get to re-wiring the box, have a partner hold the fixture while you make the connections, or if you’re working solo, hook the fixture to the bracket with a length of coat hanger or a scrap piece of wire. Taking the weight of the fixture out of your hands frees you up to make the connections easily. 

Step 1: Shut the power is off to the fixture

The first step is to ensure you’ll be able to work on the light safely. Head to the electrical panel, find the switch that controls the power to the light you’ll be working on. Flip the switch to the off position. Then head to the light fixture and set up a ladder or step stool. Now turn off the wall switch that controls the light fixture you’ll be working on, too. 

Note The Wire Colors And Placement

Modern light fixtures typically have one black wire and one white wire, as well as one green grounding wire. If the wires sticking out of your ceiling are black and white, things just got easier. If your home has older wiring, often in the form of copper wires without differentiated coating, then you must carefully note the colors of the wiring in the fixture you just removed. Make sure when you attach the new fixture, its black wire connects where the old black wire was, e.g. You can (and should) temporarily mark the wires with painter’s tape.


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