Lighting can often be an afterthought when it comes to home improvement, but believe it or not, it can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a room. Installing wall-mounted lighting is a great way to add light without taking up floor space or table space. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not as hard as you might think!
To install a wall-mounted light, utilize a ceiling box and wire in the same way that you would a ceiling light. Most sconces have a central stud that allows you to level the fixture even if the box is not level. Running cable, installing a switch, and mounting two wall sconces should take about three hours on average. Before you begin, ensure that you understand how to strip, splice, and connect wires, as well as how to install electrical boxes and route cables through walls and ceilings.
Then, to install wall-mounted lighting, follow these step-by-step instructions.
Overview of the Project
- Time: 2-3 Hrs
- Level of Skill: Intermediate
- Cost Estimated: $17 and above
- Involves: Running Cable, Electrical Skills, Screwing, Stripping Wires, Drilling
You Will Require
Equipment / Tools
- Non-contact circuit tester
- Wire connectors (wire nuts)
- New wall sconce light fixture
How to Go About It
Step 1: Turn off the Power
Before performing any electrical circuit repair, make sure the power is turned off. By turning off the matching circuit breaker at the main service panel, you can cut electricity to the circuit that feeds the switch and light fixture.
Step 2: Remove the Previous Light Fixture
Remove the cover of the light fixture. There are usually screws or bolts around the edge of the cover that needs to be removed. Once the cover is off, the wiring will be visible. The next step is to disconnect the wiring. There are usually two or three wires coming out of the light fixture. Each wire will have a connector on it. To disconnect the wiring, simply remove the connector from the wire. Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp.
Step 3: Take out the Mounting Bracket (If Necessary)
Match the old mounting bracket with the new one that came with the new light fixture. These brackets are often available in two styles. A round plate, as depicted above, is one type. The circuit wires are routed through the middle of the plate using these brackets, and the fixture is attached to screw holes in the sides. A mounting strap that spans the electrical box is the second option.
Step 4: Replace the Mounting Bracket with New One
Attach the new mounting bracket included with the fixture (if needed) to the electrical box, threading the screws into the box’s apertures. Ascertain that the bracket is secure and cannot move.
Step 5: Threaded Post should be installed (If Required)
Some light fixtures that use a strap-style mounting bracket are held in place with a threaded metal post that screws into the strap’s center hole. The post will go through the base of the light fixture, which will be secured with a decorative cap that screws onto the post.
Install the threaded post (if necessary) and test-fit the new fixture against the electrical box, over the post. The post should reach about 1/4 inch into the fixture base to create a snug fit when the cap is threaded onto it. If necessary, adjust the depth of the post in the box by screwing it clockwise or counterclockwise to shorten or lengthen it.
Step 6: Connect the Ground Wire
Your new fixture will feature a bare copper or green insulated wire that functions as the fixture’s grounding wire. Wrap the wire clockwise around the shaft of the screw and tighten it down to connect this ground lead to the green ground screw on the mounting bracket.
This connection, which runs through the metal box, connects the fixture ground to the circuit ground wire. The metal box should be connected to the circuit ground wire. If it isn’t, or if your wall box is made of plastic, grounding can be performed by connecting the circuit ground wire to the fixture’s ground lead directly via a wire connector. This is sometimes accomplished via a pigtail wire, which connects both the light fixture and the metal box directly to the circuit ground wire.
Step 7: Connect the Hot and Neutral Wires.
Connect the white fixture lead to the white circuit wire (the neutral) with wire connectors, and the black fixture leads to the black circuit wire (the hot wire). To ensure that the connections are secure, tug on the wire connectors.
If the wires are the same color (and there is no black and white cable), you can tell them apart by looking at the wires themselves: The neutral wire normally has ridges down the side, but the hot wire does not.
If your wall light fixture is one of several fixtures wired in sequence, as is frequently the case with several wall sconces controlled by a single switch, the box may contain two neutral and two hot wires to connect to the equivalent wire leads on the new fixture. There is no difference in how these are connected; simply ensure that all neutral and hot wires are firmly attached.
Step 8: Tuck the Wires in
Fold the wiring carefully into the electrical box behind the strap or disc to avoid pinching the wires as you attach the fixture to the mounting bracket. Rather of bending the wires sharply, try to coil them naturally.
Frequently, fixtures do not have a black wire and both wires are the same color. To distinguish between neutral and hot wires, the neutral wire normally has ridges down the side, whereas the hot wire does not.
Step 9: Connect the Fixture
Place the light fixture on top of the box and secure it using mounting screws or a decorative cap fitted onto the mounting post (the method will depend on the style of your fixture). The depth of the mounting post may need to be fine-tuned by screwing it in or out.
Install any required light bulbs for the fixture, then connect the shade or globe.
Step 10: Turn on the power and put the fixture to test.
Turn on the circuit breaker to restore electricity to the lighting circuit, then test your new wall sconce.