How to Replace a Ceiling Fan With a Light Fixture

G.K. Bayne

Replacing a ceiling fan with a light fixture can be accomplished in a short amount of time such as an evening or on weekends. Removing the ceiling fan, once the blades are taken down, is a project you can perform from the height of a stepladder. By following a basic procedure you can do it yourself.

  1. Shut the power off to the ceiling fan's power circuit. You should turn off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the switch that is controlling the fan. Do not rely on the switch alone as you will be performing this task while on a stepladder. An unexpected electrical shock could cause you to fall.

  2. Position the stepladder under the ceiling fan where you have the best access and are the most comfortable.

  3. Remove the ceiling fan's blades one at time using the screwdriver and place the screws in the small, plastic bag for future use.

  4. Remove the outer cover plate that surrounds the ceiling fan motor assembly. There should be four screws that hold the cover to the electric motor frame. Place those small screws in the bag as well.

  5. Unscrew the three retaining screws that hold the mounting bracket to the fan's motor frame. The motor frame should swing free but still be retained by the bracket as it should be held in place by the metal bracket that is attached to the electrical box.

  6. Remove the wire nuts and wires that make up the electrical connection to the ceiling fan. Slide the motor bracket out from the box-mounted bracket. Place the motor assembly on the floor.

  7. Unscrew the two retaining screws that hold the box bracket to the electrical box. Keep those two screws for mounting the new light fixture to the box.

  8. Unpack the new light fixture and check that all parts are there according to the packing list provided by the manufacturer.

  9. Remove the outer glass lens from the light fixture so you can gain access to the screw holes that attach the fixture to the electrical box.

  10. Use the wire pliers and twist the electrical wires, from the switch to the new light fixture, together in the following order. Black wire to black wire and white wire to white wire. Use the wire nuts to cover the bare copper connections. The stepladder's top platform should be high enough to rest the light fixture on when making the wire connections.

  11. Fold the wires up into the electrical box and attach the light fixture with the two mounting screws.

  12. Install the new light bulb and replace the glass lens for the fixture.

  13. Turn the power back on to the circuit and switch on the light fixture.

  14. Tip

    Try using a CFL, compact fluorescent light, instead of a regular incandescent bulb. CFLs last longer and are much more energy efficient.


    Follow all state and local electrical codes whenever performing any electrical work.