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How to Remove & Replace a Small High Hat Light Fixture

A replacement small high hat light fixture mounts to the trusses above the ceiling's drywall and fits in the old light fixture's drywall hole. The replacement high hat fixture also reuses the old light fixture's electrical wires. Prior to removing the old high hat light fixture, commonly called a recessed light fixture, a technician must verify that the new fixture's voltage and amperage ratings match the old fixture's ratings. Some small high hat light fixtures operate with high-voltage electricity and some use a low-voltage power feed.

Step 1

Turn off the circuit breaker controlling the small high hat light fixture.

Step 2

Remove the small high hat light fixture's electrical box cover, using the correct screwdriver to remove the cover's retaining screw. The electrical box either mounts to the side or top of the high hat's dome-shaped light bulb housing and the wire set from the electric switch enters the side of the box.

Step 3

Remove the wire nuts covering the wire connections in the small high hat's electrical box. Separate the wire ends and pull the wire set from the electric switch out of the old high hat light fixture.

Step 4

Remove the screws holding the old high hat fixture's mounting brackets to the ceiling trusses, using the correct screwdriver. Pull the old fixture out of the ceiling and set it on the ground next to the new fixture.

Step 5

Adjust the mounting brackets on the new small high hat light fixture until the bracket's placement matches the old light fixture's bracket position, using the old fixture's mounting brackets as a guide. The brackets slide along the bottom edge of the light fixture and wing nuts or screws usually hold the brackets in place.

Step 6

Set the new small high hat light fixture in place. The bottom of the light bulb housing should slide into the drywall hole and the ends of the mounting brackets should touch the ceiling trusses.

Step 7

Secure the light fixture's mounting brackets to the ceiling trusses with the screws that held the old small high hat's brackets in place, using the correct screwdriver to tighten the screws.

Step 8

Open the new small high hat's electrical box cover, using the correct screwdriver to remove the cover's retaining screw. Push the electrical switch's wire set into the electrical box through the box's wire access hole, located on the side of the box.

Step 9

Combine the small high hat's black wire with the wire set's black wire. Cover the wire ends with a wire nut.

Step 10

Twist the small high hat's white wire around the wire set's white wire. Tighten a wire nut onto the wire ends.

Step 11

Spin the small high hat's green wire against the wire set's bare copper wire. Lock the wires together with a wire nut. If the high hat uses a green screw instead of a green wire, wrap the wire set's copper wire around the green screw and tighten the screw with the correct screwdriver.

Step 12

Replace the new small high hat light fixture's electrical box cover. Lock the cover in place with the cover's retaining screw, using the screwdriver to tighten the screw.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver set
  • Wire nuts

About the Author

Based out of Central Florida, Robert Sylvus has been writing how-to and outdoor sports articles for various online publications since 2008. Sylvus has been a home improvement contractor since 1992. He is a certified HVAC universal technician.