How to Replace a Square Recessed Lighting Fixture

When you want to change the décor in your home, consider installing square recessed lighting fixtures. Recessed lighting gives you control over how much light you want in a room, and even which direction you’d like the light to shine. Additionally, many people like the look of square recessed lighting aesthetically. If you want to replace a square recessed lighting fixture, you'll have to do some electrical work.

Step 1

Shut off electricity to the room you will be working in. To remove the old light fixture, use a flat screwdriver to remove the cover of the old fixture and the trim around the light. Remove the light bulb.

Step 2

Remove the ceiling panels from a paneled ceiling, or raise the upper section of the old fixture in ceilings without paneling. Remove the junction box and the upper section of the light fixture. In the junction box, take off the wire connectors and separate the fixture wires from the house wires. Keep the house wires within reach to hook up to the new fixture.

Step 3

Measure the hole left in the ceiling by the old fixture, using a tape measure, so you’ll know what size fixture to buy. Choose a fixture a bit larger than the hole. If your new fixture is a lot larger than the hole in the ceiling, make the hole a bit bigger.

Step 4

Install the new fixture, beginning with the junction box and the top element. Use the wire stripper to splice together the fixture wires and the house wires, and then cap off the wires with the wire connectors that twist on. Connect the junction box to the ceiling joist, according to any local code regulations.

Step 5

Install the bottom portion of the new fixture according to the instructions that came with your replacement light. Put the light bulb back in place, and put back in place any trim and glass that came with the fixture.


  • Don’t place square recessed lighting fixtures too close to ceiling fans, or you may get a strobe effect when the blades of the fan rotate in front of the light.

About the Author

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.