Repair and installation information for light bulbs and fixtures.

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How do I replace a ceiling light fixture?

I have a ceiling fixture that quit working. Everything else in the room works, just not it. How do I go about replacing it? I assume I'll have to kill the power in the room. Never done electrical work before. Hope it's easy on this one.

Update

I already checked the light bulb. Tried a couple of newer ones, no effect. Tried the original bulb in another lamp--it works.

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So it does sound like either a bad socket or bad wiring. Depending on your light fixture, check the back of the light bulb socket. The wiring may actually enter there and it may be secured with some set screws that may have come loose. Do you have a multimeter, or are you in a place where you could acquire one? Just a cheap voltmeter would do.

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Carl, it is not difficult, just use some precautions. turn the circuit breaker off to the room where the ceiling light is situated. Remove any glass (globe), remove the light bulb. Now, depending on your fixture, you should see mounting screws that either hold it to a junction box, or the ceiling itself, this may depend on your location. Remove the fixture by removing the mounting screws. The wire may be connected with wire nuts, or other means (again, depends on your geographic location). Try to minimize touching bare wires and use insulated tools. Even with the circuit breaker being off, its the safe thing to do. Check the wiring for any breaks, and that they make good contact etc. You can use a simple multimeter to check the wiring for any power. Check this video for some more information. Hope this helps to get you started. Just remember to stay safe and cut the power.

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You might check the bulb first. Here's a previous question on doing this: I can't change the lightbulb by myself!

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Even though everything else in the room works, it is still worth making sure that the circuit breaker (or fuse) controlling the fixture is not tripped. If the light stopped working without some obvious precipitating event, that is the most likely (and easiest to deal with) cause.

The fixture could be wired to a different breaker than the other lights/outlets in the room, Also check for a switch that controls the power to the fixture: some outlets are wired so that one outlet of the pair will only be live if a switch is on. If the fixture is plugged into a GFI outlet, you may need to press the reset button on it.

Although fixtures and wiring do go bad, that is much less common than a switch/circuit breaker/fuse cutting off power to them.

Give some thought to when the fixture stopped working, and anything else that happened around then, that could be related.

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Carl will be eternally grateful.
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