Do You Really Need to Replace That Ceiling Light?

Sena and I just had a very challenging time installing a ceiling light to replace an old fan. I just want to point out that I would always rather hire a handyman to do this because I’m not real comfortable with electrical components. I can replace outlets and switches OK, but the ceiling fan…well, all I can say is we got the job done.

You always want to cut the power off at the circuit breaker before tackling a job like this, of course. And there are the usual problems with hooking up the right wires to each other between the ceiling light fixture (or whatever) and the electrical box in the ceiling.

The model of ceiling light we got had a fairly heavy base, which is the thing that has all the wires and the fluffy insulation and covers whatever mistakes you made in the electrical box. Just kidding.

This was a 2-person job for us and involved jockeying around on a tall ladder, taking turns hanging on to the heavy base while the other did the magic of making wiring connections. If the base had been lighter, we could have hooked up the ground wire in the ceiling with the ground wire in the fixture and just let it hang.

Sena found helpful YouTube videos about how to manage this installation. There were different perspectives on grounding, even on whether you need to do it given that some experts said the electrical box is already grounded so another grounding contact is unnecessary.

We grounded generously and even wrapped wire nuts with electrician’s tape.

Making the wire connections was hard enough, but we thought the most frustrating part was fishing for those two mounting screws through all that fluffy insulation on the base. I thought we’d never get that done.

If you ever have to do a thing like this, you might want to consider hiring the job out to someone who has a lot of experience with it.

Crank the volume on the video to hear my voice over comments.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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