How to Wire for a New Ceiling Light

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 12, 2018

Ask This Old House electrician Scott Caron installs a new switch and ceiling fixture for a homeowner. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: Time: 2 hours Cost: $100 Skill Level: Expert Tools List for Wiring a New Ceiling Light:
Oscillating saw
Drill Shopping List:
LED light fixture
Electrical mounting box
Electrical single gang box
Electrical wire
Wire nuts
Electric staples
Fish tape
Electrical tape
Madison bars
Light switch
Light switch cover Steps:
1. Before doing any electrical work, always shut off power to the house at the main breaker.
2. Trace the mounting box on the ceiling where the light fixture will be mounted.
3. Cut out the traced hole with an oscillating saw.
4. Determine a location for the light switch. It should be 48” from the floor.
5. Trace the electrical box for the switch and cut it out the same way as the mounting box.
6. Locate a source of power for the switch, either at a junction box or at the main electrical panel.
7. Connect the electrical wire to your source of power using the pliers and wire nuts and fish it through the joists until it reaches the light switch. Secure the wire to the joists with electric staples.
8. Drill through the floor in the correct stud bay and send the wires for the switch and the light up to the switch using the fish tape.
9. Mount the electrical box with Madison bars in the wall and wire the switch.
10. Screw the switch into the box and then cover it with the cover plate.
11. Cut a temporary access hole in the wall and fish wires from the fixture mount in the ceiling to the temporary hole, and then from the temporary hole through the joist back down to the basement where the switch was wired.
12. Mount the electrical box in the ceiling with more Madison bars and screws.
13. Wire the new fixture in the box and mount it to the ceiling.
14. Patch the wall where the temporary hole was cut.
15. Turn the power back on. Resources:
Scott installed the "Boxie" ceiling-mounted LED fixture, manufactured by Tech Lighting ( Basic electrical items like switch boxes, ceiling boxes, 14 gauge Romex wire, and switches can be found at a home center or electrical supply house. Expert assistance with this project was provided by Caron Electric ( and Wolfers Lighting ( Ask This Old House TV
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.
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Keywords: This Old House, How-to, home improvement, DIY, Scott Caron, electrical, Ask This Old House, repair, lighting Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook:

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