How to Replace Wall Light Fixtures

Changing the light fixtures on the wall can completely change the feel of a room. It is an easy upgrade that could take you less time to do than it did to choose the new light fixtures. Since you are just replacing existing fixtures you won't have to worry about pulling any new wire through the wall, as it is already in place.

Preperation and Safety

Replace outdated wall light fixtures with new fixtures to update the look of a room.
  1. Turn on the light at the switch.

  2. Turn off the circuit breaker that controls that switch. Look to see that the light goes out, confirming the electric power to the switch has been turned off.

  3. Turn off the switch and tape it down.

Removing the Old Fixture

  1. Unscrew the nut or nuts that hold the light fixture to the wall. Depending on the style, you may have to remove a shade to get to the attachment nuts.

  2. Pull the fixture gently away from the wall.

  3. Unscrew the wire nuts or remove the tape holding the wires together. Cap the exposed wires coming from the wall with wire nuts.

Installing the New Fixture

  1. Check to see if the mounting hardware from the old fixture will work with the new one. If not, unscrew the old mounting hardware from the electrical box.

  2. Attach the new mounting studs or nipple to the electrical box.

  3. Twist the wires from the fixture to the wires coming from the wall, black to black, white to white and exposed copper to exposed copper. Then cover each connection with a wire nut. If there is no copper wire coming from the wall, screw it to the mounting bracket. This is the "ground" safety wire.

  4. Push all of the wire gently into the electrical box. Then attach the lamp to the studs or nipple with the nuts that came with the fixture.

  5. Install the bulbs and shades. Turn power back on at the breaker and turn on your new wall fixture at the switch.


  • If the power is not turned off there is a risk of electrical shock.

About the Author

Steve Montgomery has a wide range of experience and education. He has experience in banking, sales and home improvement in addition to various hospitality related positions. He started writing professionally in 2007 for newegg.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management from Cal Poly Pomona and an Associates of Arts in computer information systems from Pasadena City College.