How to Replace Fluorescent Lights With Track Lighting

Track lighting looks very different from single light fixtures, but the general concept is the same.

The tracks attach to a central housing that connects to the electrical box just as an individual fixture would. You wire fluorescent lights in the same way, so there's nothing special you have to do if you're taking down a fluorescent light and putting up track lighting.

Turn off the electricity to the fluorescent fixture at the house circuit box.

Take out the screws holding the fixture to the ceiling, using the drill and screwdriver bit. Lower the fixture and disconnect the wires above it. Remove and discard the fixture. You should see a ceiling electrical box and three exposed wires (black, white and bare copper).

Hold the installation bracket that came with your track lighting kit up to the electrical box. Align the screw holes between the bracket and the box. Use the drill and screwdriver bit to shoot the provided machine screws through the holes to secure the bracket.

Wrap the copper ground wire from the box around the green ground screw on the mounting bracket. Tighten the screw.

Locate the central housing of the track lighting kit (the part that has the loose wire ends hanging from it). Connect the wires from the housing to those in the box, white to white and black to black, making the connections by twisting wire nuts over the wire ends to tie them together.

Push the wires up into the box. Set the housing up to the mounting bracket. Secure the housing there with the provided screws.

Install the tracks onto the ceiling with toggle bolts and the provided screws. Mark the holes for the toggle bolts with a pencil through the screw holes in the track as you hold it to the ceiling, and then move the track out of the way to drill the holes with the drill and pilot bit. As you mount the tracks to the ceiling, connect them to the housing that's over the electrical box.

Install the lighting cans to the tracks according to the design of your kit. Put bulbs in the cans. Turn on the power.

Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Drill with screwdriver bit and pilot bit
  • Track lighting kit
  • Wire nuts
  • Toggle bolts

Tip

  • The exact procedure for attaching the tracks will vary by kit, so consult the instructions carefully. In most cases, the tracks will simply snap into receiving ports in the housing and branch off in one or more directions.