Installing New Light Fixtures

Installing new light fixtures is a simple project that can dramatically improve the look of a room. But first, turn off the power to the old fixture by switching off the wall switch and checking with a noncontact voltage detector that can detect live wires without touching them. Next, remove the fixture from the junction box. Then, disconnect the wires by using a screwdriver to remove the wire nuts and pull on the bare copper wires.

installing new light fixtures

Unplug the Old Fixture

Removing the old fixture to install a new one is pretty straightforward, but don’t forget to turn off the power at your circuit breaker before you start working. If you don’t, you could get electrocuted (and a new light fixture wouldn’t do much good).

First, support the fixture with a bent coat hanger to keep it hanging from the ceiling while you work. Then, use a noncontact voltage detector to ensure the electrical wires aren’t live. Touch the tip to a wire’s insulation; it should glow if electricity flows through it. If the detector doesn’t respond, return to your breaker box and turn off the power to the light fixture’s wires.

Once the power’s off, remove the screw from the mounting strap that attaches the old light fixture to the ceiling box. This may be secured with a piece of metal that wraps around the box and screws to it, or a wire nut might just attach it. Next, unscrew the nut and remove the old wire connectors, making sure you support the fixture with the bent coat hanger so it doesn’t fall down.

If the ceiling box is recessed more than 1/4 inch, which is common in homes built before 1985, you’ll need to add a ground wire to comply with code. A 6-inch length of bare copper or green-insulated wire is easy to connect to the box by driving a No. 10-32 ground screw into a threaded hole. If you have to install a ground, also pick up a pack of stab-in connectors; they’re easier to use in tight spaces than twist-on nuts. They’ll grip the wires so you don’t have to twist and turn the screw repeatedly.

Remove the Canopy Piece

Few things change the look of a room more dramatically than a new light fixture. However, like any electrical project, it requires careful handling of dangerous voltage. The electricity flowing through the wires going to a light fixture is just as strong as what passes through the outlets in your walls, so it’s important that you don’t cut corners or rush this job. To mitigate the potential for shock, start by flipping the breaker responsible for the area of your house or business that contains the light fixture to the “Off” position.

Next, remove the old fixture, including any globes or screens, and set it aside. Before disconnecting any wires, use a non-contact circuit tester to make sure no power is running through the junction box and wiring. Once the power is off, remove the canopy (the rounded, broad covering that lies flush with the ceiling) to expose the black, white, and copper wires inside.

Disconnect the wires from the fixture by unscrewing their connectors. You may also need to loosen the screw holding the mounting bracket to the junction box. Some lights have a ground wire connecting to the metal junction box; if so, disconnect and set it aside. Now’s a good time to clean up the exposed wires, too. Remove any dirt or dust from the ends of each wire before reconnecting them to their respective fixtures. Most new fixtures use a color-coded system, so connecting the wires is easy: Twist together the stripped, bare end of the fixture’s black wire with the bare end of the supply line’s black wire, then secure them with a wire nut. Do the same with the stranded, bare copper or green-sheathed ground wire (refer to the fixture instructions if you are unsure which one to attach). You’ll be glad you took this precaution when it’s time to turn the power back on.

Disconnect the Wires

Once the decorative pieces and plate are removed, you should be able to see the wires that connect the fixture to the ceiling box. These should be capped or connected with a screw, and they may have white, black and bare copper (ground) wires. Use a voltage tester to ensure that no electricity is present before proceeding. If there is, turn off the breaker before continuing to remove the old fixture.

Using your wire strippers, remove 3/4 inch of the sheathing from each wire. Then, reattach the capped ends to their respective screws in the junction box, using wire nuts. You should have one white wire (the neutral) attached to a silver screw, a black wire with a black screw and a bare copper or green grounding wire with a green screw.

Before attaching the new fixture, make sure that you have all of the hardware that came with it. It should come with a mounting strap that screws into the ceiling box, as well as a screw to support the base of the light. Some heavy fixtures may require a second person on the ladder to help hoist it onto the strap and set it into place.

If you are installing a new fixture, you will need to determine what kind of bulb it requires. There are many different types of bulbs to choose from, including incandescent, fluorescent, LED and mercury vapor. The type of bulb you choose will depend on the color tone and brightness that you want in your room. In addition, you should decide whether you want the fixture to be dimmable or not. If you are not sure what kind of bulb to use, consult a professional electrician.

Remove the Mounting Bracket

Although novice do-it-yourselfers may be intimidated by the electrical aspects of installing a light fixture, this is a relatively simple job. Begin by shutting off the power at the breaker connected to the circuit you’ll be working on (use a noncontact voltage tester to confirm). Then remove the old light fixture and disconnect the wire connectors from the circuit wires. You will also need to unscrew and set aside the mounting strap that secured the fixture to the junction box in the ceiling. Consult the new light fixture’s directions for specific instructions on how to mount the mounting bracket.

If the junction box contains three sets of capped wiring — black, white and green or copper — you’re ready to move on to connecting your new fixture. Before moving forward, however, use a pair of wire strippers to strip away about half an inch of the plastic coating from each of the three wires in the box. This will expose the braided metal wire underneath and make the connections easier.

If your junction box doesn’t have a grounding wire, you can install one by loosening the green screw in the box that connects the bare copper wire to the mounting strap and then using your electrician’s pliers to bend a small U-shape around the screw so it fits tightly around it. Then wrap the bent end of the grounding wire around the screw in a clockwise direction. You can now reconnect the wiring and install your new fixture, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the fixture is rated for the wattage of bulbs it uses; substituting with a higher-rated bulb could cause the fixture to overheat or ignite nearby combustible surfaces.

Install the New Fixture

Many novice do-it-yourselfers are intimidated by the idea of installing a new light fixture, but it’s actually a relatively simple project. Once the power has been shut off at the breaker box, it’s just a matter of removing and replacing the old fixture. However, a little background knowledge of electricity and wiring goes a long way toward ensuring that the job is completed safely and correctly.

Before attempting to connect any wires, it’s a good idea to consult the instructions that came with the new fixture. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to get started. Start by carefully unboxing the new fixture, then removing its glass shade and setting it aside in a safe place. If it has a mounting strap, unscrew and set this aside as well.

Next, examine the base of the new fixture for wire connections. It should have three wire leads: a black hot wire, a white neutral wire and a bare copper ground wire. The wires will usually have some insulating coating on them, but if you don’t see this, use a pair of electrician’s pliers to strip about an inch of the insulation away to expose the metal wire underneath. Connect the exposed ends of the two black wires together using a wire connector. Join the white and copper wires in the same manner.

If your fixture has a bare copper ground wire, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clamp this wire in a separate screw on the ceiling junction box or to a green grounding screw on the wall plate of the ceiling junction box. After you’ve made these connections, it’s time to screw in the new fixture and replace the bulb. Once the fixture is in place, turn the breaker back on and test the lights.

What Does a Handyman Do?


A handyman is a “jack of all trades” who can handle various general repair and maintenance tasks. They differ from a contractor, who generally has earned some license for specialized expertise. From assembling IKEA furniture to drilling into walls, a handyman needs many tools. One of the most essential is a hand sander.

HandymanHandyman Naperville IL specializes in repair or maintenance tasks like repairing leaky faucets and installing doorknobs. But some offer a more comprehensive range of services, including painting, plumbing, and electrical work. These professionals are sometimes called “jacks of all trades” and often have a well-rounded knowledge base to complete various home improvement projects.

Some handymen work independently, while others may work as a freelance contractor for repair service companies or even property management firms. They are generally paid per project, which typically includes assessing the job at hand, making recommendations for approaches, estimating the cost of labor and materials, securing said materials and then performing the work. They may also be responsible for cleaning up any messes they create.

Handymen can install a wide range of devices and appliances for clients, including smart home applications. These can include video doorbells, virtual assistants, and thermostats. They can also handle more complicated electrical work, such as changing light bulbs or rewiring an outlet. However, complex electrical work should be completed by licensed electricians.

A handyman can also help a homeowner with smaller carpentry jobs, such as replacing or repairing window and door trims. They can also sand and refinish wooden decks, pergolas or other timber structures. They can also mount flat-screen TVs on walls or hang holiday lights.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have a long list of maintenance tasks that need to be addressed. But sometimes it can be hard to find the time, skills, or equipment needed to get everything done. This is where a professional NYC Handyman comes in. They can take care of all those repairs and improvements that you’ve been putting off for far too long.

The majority of handymen are jacks of all trades and have the ability to fix a wide range of issues in both residential and commercial spaces. They can handle everything from fixing broken fixtures to assembling furniture. They can even paint small areas of a house, though they should never attempt to work on any larger painting projects that require a licensed painter.


Of all the services handymen offer, painting (both interior and exterior) is probably the most popular. It’s a great way to refresh the look of a room, and a fresh coat of paint can also help make a home or business more appealing to buyers if it’s on the market. Handymen can also repaint trim work around windows and doors, or re-stain or repaint decks or fences.

Inside the home, handymen can offer furniture assembly services, hanging mirrors or pictures, and installing closet organizers. They can also mount TVs and hang curtains or blinds. This is a service that’s particularly useful for people who’ve recently moved or had new furniture delivered and want their spaces to feel put together and complete.

Handymen can also paint walls if they’ve been scraped or damaged by furniture or kids playing. This is one of the most common handyman services requested, and New York Handyman Pro’s painting contractors have years of experience laying tile and recoloring walls and rooms. They know how to prep the surface, apply a coat of paint with precision, and make sure the finished product looks clean and professional.

Whether or not to offer these or other services depends on the size and scope of the job and whether it requires any special skills or equipment that a licensed tradesperson would need. For example, a kitchen remodel isn’t something a handyman can do, but a qualified plumber or electrician could. Knowing which services you can and can’t provide will help you market your business to the right customers. You can create a handyman services list in Jobber and import it into your client documents when creating quotes, making it easy to reference and clearly communicate to your clients which tasks you’re capable of.


Many small plumbing jobs can be done by handymen, such as fixing a dripping faucet or replacing a toilet seat. However, larger projects that require a more in-depth knowledge of plumbing are better suited for licensed plumbers. These types of projects may involve installing a new shower or tub, sinks, or toilets, or repairing or replacing damaged drywall or vanities due to the presence of water or plumbing leaks.

Plumbers often charge more for their services than handymen, but they have a much greater understanding of the intricacies of plumbing. They can also offer more comprehensive services, such as rerouting pipes or replacing entire fixtures. Plumbers are also required to carry liability coverage, which protects them and their customers from financial repercussions in the event of an accident or damage caused during work performed on a property.

While a state-specific license is not needed for a handyman, most states do have requirements such as minimum labor and materials amounts. Some states also require that a handyman be insured and bonded, which helps protect the client in the event of an injury or damage to property during a project. Additionally, a handyman may need to obtain a permit for certain projects in order to comply with local building and zoning regulations.

Most states allow handymen to perform a limited amount of specialized work, such as electrical and HVAC repair. However, these types of jobs are generally outside the scope of what a typical handyman is trained to do, and they should be turned down if a request is made for them.

While there is no education requirement for a handyman, training in areas such as construction, electrician, welding, small appliance repair and HVAC can be beneficial. Additionally, experience with tools and a good working knowledge of basic plumbing repairs are necessary. Many handymen are self employed, but they can also find work through home warranty companies or repair service firms. For some, this is a side or part time job, while for others, it is a full-time career. Some even choose to become certified handymen, which increases their earning potential and can help them stand out from the competition.


Electrical handymen are skilled at a variety of tasks that involve electricity. They can install light fixtures, run wires through walls to connect appliances, and repair damaged outlets or switches. They can also replace old switches and sockets with new, energy-efficient ones.

Some electrical jobs are too complicated for a handyman, and they should only be handled by licensed electricians. This is because complex electrical work can cause serious damage to a home, and it requires special knowledge of wiring, circuits, and switches. If a handyman completes such work without the proper training, they could be putting the homeowner at risk of injury or fire.

Handymen can help with the installation of a number of different types of light bulbs. They can also install smoke detectors and other safety devices. Additionally, they can run wires from the main power source to outlets and other locations in a house. This is especially important when doing renovations that require the relocation of appliances.

When a light fixture isn’t working, a handyman can fix the problem by replacing the bulb or rewiring it. They can also install new outlets and switches, as well as test fuses and circuit breakers to ensure they are functioning properly.

A common electrical problem is a faulty or overloaded outlet. Handymen can check if there is enough power to an outlet by testing it with a multimeter. They can also upgrade old outlets to GFCI outlets, which are safer and more efficient than traditional ones.

In addition to electrical repairs, handymen can also fix problems with power tools. They can repair or replace broken blades on cords and replace stripped screws. They can also sand and stain wooden decks, pergolas, and other timber structures.

If you have a small home project that needs to be completed quickly and professionally, a Handyman may be your best choice. They are qualified to take on a wide range of home improvement tasks, including painting, carpentry, and plumbing. They can also handle minor electrical work, such as installing a ceiling fan or light fixture.