How to Wire a Vanity Light

Changing or adding a vanity light in your bathroom will brighten things up. Vanity lights come in many styles and sizes, such as strip, sconce, bar and single vanity lights. All will fit over an existing electrical box and are easy to install if the wires are already there. Measure the area before choosing a new vanity light and be sure the light will fit. Choose a light fixture to create a strong illumination that is still easy on the eyes. Halogen light bulbs and a frosted globe will create a shadowless environment.

A new vanity light will give your bathroom a facelift.
  1. Turn the power off to the circuit.

  2. Detach the existing fixture by removing the globe or shade and removing the bulbs. Unscrew the bolts holding the fixture on the electrical box and remove the wire nuts from the wires or unscrew the wires from the fixture.

  3. Screw the flat metal bar, called a "mounting bar," to the electrical box. Depending on the style of the fixture, screw the threaded rod into the center of the mounting bar if the fixture comes with a threaded rod. Some fixtures use a threaded rod to attach the shade or globe. Screw the ground wire to the green ground screw on the mounting rod. Leave enough wire to connect the ground wire to the fixtures ground wire. Use a wire nut to connect the wires.

  4. Use wire nuts to connect the white wire on the fixture to the white wire in the box, and connect the black wire on the fixture to the black wire in the box.

  5. Fasten the fixture with the bolts to the mounting bar.

  6. Install the light bulbs and secure the globe or shade. Turn the power on to the circuit.


  • If the old fixture is stuck to the wall with chalking, us a utility knife to cut around the fixture or use a putty knife to scrape the fixture free.
  • Never work in a "live" electrical box. Alway turn off power to the circuit.
  • Follow manufacturers directions on attaching the light fixture to the mounting bar. Not all light fixtures are the same and may use different attachment methods.