How to Add a New Ceiling Light Fixture

After a few years of living with out a ceiling light fixture over their kitchen table my friend decided it was time to install one.

Add a New Ceiling Light FixtureAdd a New Ceiling Light Fixture
. . . . . . This isn't a very difficult task but it does require some knowledge of how a house is framed in order to locate walls & partitions while in the attic.

First thing is to determine the location of the ceiling fixture so it is located in the center of the table. Then poke a small hole through the drywall at that location and stick a piece of wire through the hole and into the attic.

Go into the attic and find the piece of wire. You'll need to know the general vicinity of the wire because it may not be visible prior to moving insulation away from the area. Once you've located the wire you can determine if there is any obstructions, like a ceiling joist in the way. Hopefully there won't be otherwise you may have to move the location of the light fixture.

Go back downstairs and trace the outside of the electrical box you purchased at the home improvement store. Cut a hole in the drywall using a drywall saw.

Go back up in the attic and install the ceiling electrical box using the slide brackets and attach them into the ceiling joists. You can find several types of ceiling boxes at the home improvement store we chose a metal box.

the new light fixture will be turned on with a switch. We are putting The switch on the inside wall of the dinning room. While your in the attic move some insulation in the general vicinity of the inside wall. You should see a 2x4 up in the attic, this is the top plate of the wall. Drill a hole through the top plate near the location of where the switch will be located.

Next thing is to get power to the fixture. We were lucky enough to find a junction box in the attic that had continual power. We ran a 14-2 cable from the junction box to the ceiling fixture. Then another 14-2 cable from the ceiling fixture to the hole we drilled in the top plate and down the inside of the wall. Turn off the power for the circuit that you'll be tapping into and connect the black & white wires from the new cable to the black & white wires in the junction box. (black to black, white to white).

Go back downstairs and using a plastic remolding electrical box purchased from your home improvement store, trace the outside of the box at the desired location. Cut a hole using a drywall saw. Now stick your hand into the hole and feel for cable you sent down the wall from the attic. Pull the cable out of the hole leaving about eight inches hanging out of the wall. Feed the cable through the top of the electrical box and slide the box into the opening. Turn the screws on the electrical box to secure the box in the wall.

At the electrical box in the ceiling you'll have two cables, the feed or hot cable and the switch leg going to the switch. Skin the cables and connect the black wire from the feed cable to the white wire of the switch leg cable using a wire nut. Let about six inches of the white wire from the feed cable remain in the ceiling box along with the black wire from the switch cable.

Now at the switch box skin the cable and put a black piece of tape on the white wire, this is to indicate that the white wire is actually hot. Attach both the black and white wires to a single pole light switch and install it in the electrical box.

Install the mounting hardware and light fixture to the ceiling box, turn the power back on, and turn on the switch.

Things You Will Need

  • Drywall saw
  • Cordless or electric drill
  • utility knife
  • wire cutters
  • wire strippers
  • screw driver
  • black electrical tape
  • electricity tester


  • Make sure you turn off the power to your electrical source.........
  • When drilling into the top plate be sure to check your measurements so your hole is in the wall cavity of your light switch.


  • Make sure you wear safety glasses.
  • Avoid getting insulation on your bare skin.