Found a New Lamp? Change It Yourself

This procedure applies to a fixed lamp on the ceiling or on the wall. As always please remember to work slowly and pay attention to what you are doing. Safety should be your main concern. In this case you will need a folding ladder that should go all the way up to the lamp; you must also be able to stand on it without going all the way to the top. Please use a good ladder and make sure it is safe and does not wobble before getting on it. You will need our usual set of tools too, pointed electrical pliers, a screwdriver, electrical tape and a new one, a small wrench.

There is one thing you must know before starting the operation, if you are going to exchange a hanging lamp for a lamp which is in contact with the ceiling you must first calculate the height you want to give it and measure the amount of extra wire you will need plus the length of chain you will add. These have to be on hand before you start your work. On the other hand if you are going to remove a hanging lamp and exchange it for a ceiling-fixed lamp you will not need anything else than what we already have.

Go to the electric panel and turn off the circuit breakers in the area where you will be working. If you do not know which circuit breaker cuts off the electricity in the place where you will be working, throw them all off. Changing the lamp will take just a few minutes so you do not have to worry about your refrigerator or any other appliances that should be running. Go back into the room and try the switch, if the lamp does not go on, you are good to go with the job.

Place the ladder below the old lamp but slightly to the side so you can comfortably and safely reach its base on the ceiling. The old lamp is held in place by a nut just below its base, using the wrench loosen it and gently stretch the electric wires above. There should be two wires connected to the lamp and sometimes, not always, a ground wire sticking from the side of the base. Remember the ground screw is green most lamps have one even if it is not connected.

You may need someone to help you with this work for a few minutes, all they have to do is hand you the lamp once you are on the ladder. Also they will take the old lamp once you remove it. If they are not too heavy or uncomfortable you may do everything yourself but safety indicates that a little help will make things easier. It is not necessary for you to cut the wires to release the old lamp, it is easier just to take the electrical tape off from them and separate them using the pliers.

If you are putting up a hanging lamp, this is the time to add the chain and the additional wire so it hangs where you want it. Using the pliers first add the additional chain. All you have to do is open one of the links add the new chain and close it up again. To add the electric wire, peel about one inch of plastic cover from each wire and tie it tightly with the wire already attached to the lamp. Cover each individually with electric tape and add another layer covering both wires together. Take down the original lamp and set it aside, bring up the new one and tie each lamp wire to one of the wires hanging from the ceiling. It does not matter which wire you tie with each wire on the ceiling, the lamp will work anyway. Again make the knots between wires tight, cover them individually with electric tape with a final covering of both wires. Put the lamp holder through the hole on the base that is screwed to the ceiling, and tighten the nut holding the lamp firmly against the ceiling.

When the new lamp is the regular kind does not hang from a chain or something all you have to do is remove the old one, using the same procedure above and connect the new one tightening the nut to keep it in place. That was not hard, was it? Now you can give your home a new look changing the lamps all around the house.