Light Fixture Replacement
If you're renovating a home that's more than a few years old, you probably inherited a few outdated light fixtures. Replacing old light fixtures is the most dramatic improvement you can make to a room and is well worth the investment (although it can often be one of the most affordable improvements you can make, too). Light fixture replacement is a complex task for even the seasoned DIY-er, so always hire a qualified electrician if you're inexperienced or feel like you can't install electrical fixtures yourself.
But before selecting a new style light fixture to replace the old model, before deciding whether or not to do the replacement yourself, you'll need to know a few things about the existing fixture:
How much wattage the fixture can accept. Take a look at the bulbs in the fixture and their wattage. The new fixture you install should not exceed this total wattage.
If you need more light in the space, you can consider using compact fluorescent or LED bulbs in place of incandescent in the new fixture because you'll get much more light for the amount of wattage required. Click here to learn more about these two lighting options.
The measurement of the canopy or back plate. You will need to find a replacement fixture with a canopy or back plate size that is at least as large as the original fixture so as to cover the hole in the wall that was made with the existing infrastructure (whether or not the area around the hole matches the room--see below).
The wiring. It's always a good idea to observe how the existing light fixture is wired, which will make wiring the new fixture a bit easier. You may even want to draw a sketch or take a picture to help you.
- The approximate weight of the fixture. If you're not planning on replacing the junction box, you will need to choose a new fixture that is the same weight (or lighter) than the current fixture. Replacing a small ceiling light with a chandelier or ceiling fan can be done, but because those fixtures are heavy, you will need to install a different heavy duty junction box or special brace in the ceiling, mounted to the joists.
Once you have removed the existing light fixture (or had someone do it for you), it is always a good idea to paint or wallpaper the area before you install the replacement (if this was part of your room renovation to begin with). All too often, people will paint or lay wallpaper around the light fixture after it is installed. So, when they go to replace the fixture, they are highly limited in their choices by the size of the previous fixture's canopy or back plate.
Choose a light fixture replacement style that coordinates with the style and finish of existing fixtures in your home and get ready to enjoy a huge improvement in your home's ambience and value!
Light Fixture Safety & Installation Tips
How to Install a Chandelier
How to Select the Right Sized Fixture
Need more advice? Give our trained lighting specialists a call at 1-866-688-3562.