How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

How to Prepare for Lighting Installation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Electrical > How to Prepare for Lighting Installation
How to Prepare for Lighting Installation

Although necessary for safety and function, lighting also adds effective decor to your home. As you consider your many options in lighting styles and design, the lighting you choose will have a significant impact in the appearance of your interior rooms.


The Energy Star has information and recommendations for choosing and installing energy efficient light fixtures. You can save significant money if you select fixtures with an Energy Star on the label. These products are both high quality and energy efficient. As you prepare for lighting installation, learn as much as possible about the entire process to ensure that the products you install will serve your needs adequately.

  1. 1.Choosing Light Fixtures

    Before proceeding with installation steps when installing lighting, turn off the power for the light fixture at the circuit breaker panel.

    Determine your needs or the effect you wish to achieve with lighting. If you are trying to add strong illumination to an area, you may desire recessed fixtures or lights that will shine straight down into the room. If the lighting you want is more ambient, you have a variety of options that will add decorative mood lighting.


    Consider the space beyond where you wish to install the lighting – above the ceiling or behind the wall – especially if you are not replacing an existing light fixture and you are adding a new one.


    If you aren’t certain how many watts you can safely add to an existing circuit, hire a licensed electrician to assess your electrical system and determine how many watts you can add to your circuit safely.


    Narrow your search to include only Energy Star products to ensure that you choose the highest quality fixtures. Energy Star light fixtures will have minimum two-year warranties as well as exceptional life, lasting longer than lesser quality lights.

  2. 2.Safety

    Follow all safety guidelines and recommendations when working with electricity to avoid injury. Before proceeding with installation steps when installing lighting, turn off the power for the light fixture at the circuit breaker panel. After turning off the power, use a circuit tester to ensure that all power is off at the fixture.

  4. 3.Standard Ceiling Fixture Installation


    A. Remove the insulation from the black and white wires to expose about ½ inch of wire.


    B. Install the mounting brackets for the light fixture where you want to install the lighting.


    C. Connect the wiring for the light fixture. Connect the black wire of the light fixture to the black wire of the electrical box. Connect the white wire of the light fixture to the white wire of the electrical box.


    D. Connect the ground wire – find the bare copper wire and connect it to a green screw located on the lighting fixture mounting bracket. For safety, never touch bare copper wires except for the bare ground wire.


    E. Never disturb or remove insulation included on the interior of the light fixture. Manufacturers include this insulation to prevent heat from light bulbs from melting or overheating wires.


    F. Position the light fixture in place onto the mounting hardware. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them securely.


    Although the process of installing lighting may seem complicated or technical, as long as you satisfy safety recommendations and proceed carefully, you should be able to install your own lighting in your home.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.