LED lights are about a million times better than anything else for so many areas of your home. Here’s how to install LED light fixtures quickly and easily to replace your old inefficient light fixtures.
We’ve of course replaced quite a few old light fixtures in our home since we’ve been here. We’ve done a lot of more decorative light fixtures in our various rooms to bring the style of our home more up to date, but we’ve also been replacing some of the less glamorous light fixtures in various nooks and crannies here and there. Of course, we always try to use LED bulbs whenever we can, but there are some areas where we’ve discovered it’s ideal to take things one step further and use fixed LED light fixtures instead. Today we wanted to show you how to install LED light fixtures so you can start to upgrade your lights well!
How to Install LED Light Fixtures: Where to Use Them
Fixed LED light fixtures are absolutely perfect in quite a few, often overlooked areas of the home where you don’t need anything fancy but you need a good, reliable light source. Places like closets, utility rooms, storage areas, garages and laundry rooms are the kind of areas that you want to think about for this.
Basically anywhere that you would see something that looks like this light fixture on a builder grade home.
We actually used a fixed LED in our back hall mudroom that we renovated last summer and I love the clean, simple look of it in there. You can just see it peeking out in this photo here.
The Benefits of Using Fixed LED Light Fixtures
The issues with those old standard light fixtures are that they’re really inefficient by today’s standards, the bulbs you use in them can be easily broken, they run hot, and they often flicker as well.
You can see by the discolouration around this one that it was running really hot. Eek.
If you find that you have light fixtures like this that flicker, it’s probably caused by the heat created when you turn them on. The connection in the socket is often compromised by the heat because things can change shape when they’re heated up and you’re left without a solid connection between the bulb and the light fixture. You can see an example here where we had a flickering problem with the light on the right.
Note: This example did seem excessive and we have on old house so we had a licensed electrician check it out just to be sure and he found no issues with the wiring.
Fixed LED’s are the most efficient products available on the market and there’s no bulb to worry about. So they’ll never break, they won’t ever burn out, and there’s no connection to become compromised to cause flickering. Going to LED bulbs is a good step, but if you have easy access to your light fixture, why not just switch the whole thing out to a fixed LED? That way, you’ll never have to worry about that light fixture again!
How to Install LED Light Fixtures to Replace Old Lights
What you’ll need
- Fixed LED light fixture
- Wire Strippers (optional, but good to have around anyway)
- 2 Wire Nuts
- Voltage Tester
- Philips Screwdriver
Choosing a Light
Whether you decide to visit your local hardware store or just go online to purchase the light, keep a couple of simple things in mind. This is in an area where no one will ever notice the light – if they even see it all – and we’re making this change so we’ll never have to worry about it again. With this in mind, select something inexpensive (no one will see it) and durable (never change it again). Sometimes you’ll need to leave the nice, decorative lighting display area of your store and venture into the area where they sell the switches, plugs, metal boxes and all the other technical stuff. Here you find the old style of porcelain fixture you’re replacing but also they’ll have at least one super durable, utilitarian LED fixture perfect for this project. There will likely be two options: one with a pull string to turn it on and off and one without. Make sure you pick the right one so you be able to turn it on and off.
How to Install LED Light Fixtures: Removing the Old Inefficient Fixture
Turn off the power at the breaker panel and remove the existing fixture by removing the 2 screws. Avoid touching the wires as you pull the fixture down from the metal box.
At this point, check the wires with your voltage tester to make sure the power is off.
Now, with the old fixture pulled down away from the metal box and the power confirmed 100% OFF, we can remove this light by loosening the two screws and pulling the wires off. At this point, either cut the bent, exposed part of the wires and re-strip them or, if you don’t have proper wire strippers, you can just use pliers to straighten the wire.
Installing Your New LED Light Fixture
Using the wire nuts, attach the new light fixture by connecting the wires. Black to black and white to white. Remember, give each wire a good tug to make sure they are properly connected and secure inside the wire nut.
You can now go ahead and push the fixture into position on the metal box and attach it using the two screws. Most light fixtures will have a protective cover, like ours, or a decorative cover to hide the screws. You’ll need to remove this, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to access the screws and replace it when you’re done.
All that’s left is turn the power back on and flip the switch to test it out. It’s now time to start saving money on your electricity bill AND you’ll never need to worry about that light again.
Make it Even Better
You can also upgrade even further by replacing the switch with one of theses:
This switch contains a motion sensor, automatically turning on the light when you walk in the room or open the door. This is super handy when you walk in with an armload of laundry. Most models have an adjustable timer to automatically turn off the light so you don’t have to worry if you forget. You can also find models that adjust the brightness, just like a regular dimmer.
So that’s just about everything you could possibly want to know about how to install LED light fixtures in your home! Have you started making the switch to these new light fixtures?
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