Return to How To's & Project Ideas

How to Change a Light Fitting

Print this article

You may need to change a light fixture if it has become faulty or if you are decorating or renovating. It is a simple task once you know the necessary steps. Our step by step guide will help you to safely change a standard ceiling light fitting.

Step 1

Turn Off Power

Turn Off Power

For safety reasons, it is critically important that the power has been turned off at the mains unit before beginning work on your light fitting. Just turning the light switch off is not adequate. Test the light to ensure the power is turned off. Ensure that everyone at home is aware of the danger of turning the power back on while you are working with the light fixture. Failure to complete this step may result in a serious accident during the installation process.

Step 2

Remove Light Cover & Note the Wiring Layout

Remove Light Cover & Note the Wiring Layout

Remove any light bulb(s) from the current fitting and carefully remove the light fitting cover to expose the wiring inside. Mark each wire so they can be replaced in the same position in the new fitting. Taking a quick photo on your phone is another handy option. This will make wiring the new fitting easier.

Step 3

Remove Wiring

Remove Wiring

Using an insulated screwdriver (also known as an electrician’s screwdriver), unscrew each of the wires from their terminals.

Step 4

Unscrew Mounting Plate

Unscrew Mounting Plate

If your light fitting is secured by a mounting plate, loosen and remove the plate.

Step 5

Replace Wiring

Replace Wiring

If there is any obvious heat damage to the wire ends, cut off the damaged end of the wire and then strip back a little insulation. This will expose enough of the copper to secure it to the new base successfully. Using your previously marked wires, replace them in the same position as before.

Step 6

Replace Cover & Fit Bulb

Replace Cover & Fit Bulb

Once the wiring has been replaced, screw the cover back in place and fit a light bulb. Turn electricity back on at the mains unit and test your work by switching on the light. Well done, you have now successfully replaced your light fitting.