How to Install a Wall Light Fixture

Wall light fixture
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  • 01 of 10

    Wall Mounted Light Fixture Installation

    wall sconces

    Wall mounted light fixtures are often called a wall sconce and are a great way to add character to general room lighting. In this tutorial, we will review how to replace a wall mounted light fixture or sconce, and replace it with a new fixture.

    When changing out a light fixture like this, you may find the electrical box mounting bracket for the new light fixture is different, which is what we find and review in this tutorial.

    Tools and Materials

    • New Wall Sconce Light Fixture
    • Wire Nuts
    • Electrical Tape

    Before any repair is performed on an electrical circuit you need to make sure the power is off. Turn off power to the circuit feeding the switch. You do this by going to your electrical service panel and either removing the fuse or turning off the circuit breaker feeding power to the switch.

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  • 02 of 10

    Remove Existing Wall Light Fixtures

    removing a wall sconce cover plate

    Turn the wall power switch controlling the light fixture to the off position. If there is any chance another person could turn on the switch while you are working (e.g. children or spouse) then turn off the power at the main power panel.

    Remove the existing fixture. You may need to remove a cover plate to access mounting screws. There are many different mounting methods so you will have to look at your existing fixture to see what is required.

    Once the fixture is separated from the electrical box mounting bracket, remove the plastic wire nuts securing the existing wiring to the wall power wiring and remove the existing fixture completely.

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  • 03 of 10

    Remove Existing Electrical Box Mounting Bracket

    reomving a wall sconce mounting bracket

    Take a look at the existing mounting bracket and your new one. These brackets usually come in two varieties. One type is the round plate you see being removed. With these brackets, the wiring comes up through the center of the plate and the fixture attaches to screw holes on the side of the bracket. The other type is the strap bracket which we will be using. Chances are your existing and new brackets will be different. If so, remove the existing bracket.

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  • 04 of 10

    Install New Mounting Bracket

    installing a new wall light mounting bracket

    Once the old bracket is removed, install the new fixture mounting bracket and tighten securely with screws.

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  • 05 of 10

    Adjust Post Height

    adjust the post height

    If you have a strap bracket as shown here, the center area of the bracket is home to a threaded post which will have a decorative cap on its end. This post will screw in and out of the bracket to adjust the height of the post from the face of the finished mounted fixture. Install the new bracket and test-fit the fixture to get the threaded post so it extends about 1/4-inch from the face of the fixture or as necessary for the threaded decorative cap to provide a snug fit.

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  • 06 of 10

    Install Ground Wire

    install ground wire

    There will be a copper ground wire with your new light fixture. The new bracket should come with a green ground screw. Take the end of the copper ground wire and wrap it around the screw clockwise for one wrap, making sure it is located under the screw head. Tighten the ground screw.

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  • 07 of 10

    Connect Fixture Wiring

    connect fixture wiring

    Connect the power wiring. Connect black wire to black wire and white wire to white wire, twisting the wire ends clockwise. Fasten together with wire nuts. Wrap with electrical tape if fastening more than two wires together under the wire nut.

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  • 08 of 10

    Place Wiring in Electrical Box

    place wire in electrical box

    Carefully fold the wiring into the electrical box so as not to pinch the wires as you place the fixture on the mounting bracket. You want to create as much of a natural coiled situation as possible.

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  • 09 of 10

    Mount Wall Light Fixture

    install wall light fixture

    Placing the fixture on the bracket, you will now mount it using a decorative screw cap onto the post (as shown) or by screws, depending on the fixture design. If you have a set up as shown in the photo where a threaded post is used, you may have to thread the rod further into the bracket so the threaded decorative cap can be tightened more and apply more pressure to the fixture to hold it in place. Install any light bulbs that are required for the fixture and replace the shade if it was removable.

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  • 10 of 10

    Restore Power and Complete Installation

    turn power on to light fixture

    Once the fixtures are installed and the light bulbs are in and the lampshades in place, you can now restore power to the lighting circuit and turn on your new wall sconces. Enjoy!