How to Power Your Fixture
Preparing for the Installation
Make sure the power is off at the breaker. Double check that no electricity is running through the junction box with a non-contact voltage detector tool before you disconnect any wires by touching the insulation of each wire with the tester. A glowing light indicates that the wire is live.
Once there is no electricity in the junction box, remove the old mounting strap and install the new mounting strap/bracket.
Test the Fixture's Height and Compatibility to the Junction Box
Have an assistant support the fixture's weight while you test the height of the fixture by placing the fixture up against the junction box.
Leave a Little Extra Wire When Trimming
For ceiling hung fixtures with long wires, add 10 to 12 inches of wire to the desired length and trim away the excess wires. This is not necessary for wall or ceiling lights, where the wires are shorter.
Use a wire stripper to remove the new fixture's wires protective coating, exposing new bare threads.
Reference the Diagram
Refer to the provided wiring diagram and attach the fixture’s wires to the house wires.
Have your assistant support the weight of the fixture while you connect the wires.
Ground the Fixture
Begin with the ground wires. Connect the fixture’s ground wire to the house’s ground wire and secure the connection by twisting on a wire connector.
The fixture’s ground wire may be bare metal, bare copper, green, or be a clear wire with a green inner thread.
If your junction box does not have a ground wire, locate the green ground screw on the mounting bracket/mounting strap and wrap the fixture’s ground wire around the screw. Use a screwdriver to tighten the head of the green ground screw onto the wrapped wire.
Locating and Connecting the Neutral Wires
The hot and neutral wires can be difficult to distinguish.
Begin by attempting to identify the neutral wire. The neutral wire is usually white, but may be clear with a white inner thread, clear with no writing, or have a ribbed texture. If you are unable to find a fixture wire that fits one of these descriptions, please skip ahead and attempt to identify the hot wire.
If you find the neutral wire, connect the neutral fixture wire to the neutral house wire. Twist the ends of the wire pair together before twisting on a wire connector. Always twist in the same direction.
Locating and Connecting the Hot Wires
Finally, find the hot wires. Hot wires run electricity to the fixture. The hot fixture wire is usually black, has writing on it, is clear with a black inner thread, is clear with black writing, or is smooth to the touch.
If you skipped the neutral wire earlier so that you could identify and connect the hot wires first, the remaining fixture wire is neutral. Connect the remaining fixture wire to the remaining house wire.
Once all the connections are secure, tuck the wires into the junction box, and secure the canopy/backplate to the mounting bracket/mounting strap.
Helpful Tip: Lots of fixtures use two screws and deco nuts to secure the canopy/backplate to the mounting strap. It can be tricky and frustrating to align the holes in the canopy with the screws. Often, you will get the first screw through a hole in the canopy and then have trouble aligning the second screw with the remaining hole. To align the second screw, stick a nail or screwdriver tip into the canopy hole and rotate the canopy until you find the second screw hole.