How To Update Bathroom Lighting

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

The key to good lighting is a good light fixture. Updating your fixtures is a quick and easy way to add style and functionality to any space.

How to Update Bathroom Lighting

Materials


Tools


Step 1: Turn the Electricity Off

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Turn the Electricity Off

First, you’ll want to flip the kill switch for the fixture at the breaker box to ensure the wires are safe to touch. Remove any covers or canopies from the light.


Step 2: Remove the Old Fixture

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Remove Old Fixture

With the electricity off, use a ladder (if needed) to remove the old light fixture by backing out the screws on the canopy cover with a screwdriver or drill. Gently pull cover away to reveal connected wiring. Untwist the plastic wire nuts to release the wires.

NOTE: If working with a large or heavy fixture this is a two-person job.

Confirm the electricity is off with a circuit tester. This tool is easy to use, adds an extra layer of safety and only costs a few bucks, so it’s money well spent.  Just touch it to the white and black wires to check that the electricity is indeed off.  If so, disconnect the grounding wire from the grounding nut. Then unscrew and remove the old mounting bar and remove the old fixture.


Step 3: Prep the New Fixture

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Prep New Fixture

Unbox the new fixture, unwrap everything and organize its pieces and parts. Once you’ve determined that the electrical box can safely support the weight of the new fixture, screw the threaded mounting stem into the new mounting bar, then adjust the chain and wiring to the desired height (pliers may be helpful).

NOTE: Any fixture weighing more than 50 lbs. will require extra support. This means the electrical box must either be firmly secured to a ceiling joist or wood bracing, or you will need to install an adjustable support bracket (commonly used with ceiling fans).


Step 4: Connect the Wires

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Connect Wires

To connect the wiring, run it through the mounting stem and canopy. Use wire strippers to expose a 3/4-inch section of wire. Then, connect white to white and black to black with the wire nuts supplied. Next, connect the copper grounding wire to the grounding nut. Tuck the connected wires up into the electrical box and secure the new canopy plate in place.

NOTE: Always reference your fixture’s specific installation instructions.


Step 5: Add Bulbs!

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Add Bulbs

Add bulbs, turn on electricity…  and enjoy.

How to Update Bathroom Lighting - Finished Light Fixture