How to Replace Your Bathroom Vanity Light Fixture

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What You'll Need
Electrical tape
Drill (if moving the light fixture)
Voltage tester

Updating the look of your bathroom can be as simple as adding a bathroom vanity light fixture. You can give your bathroom a whole new look with a different style or type of light. With a few simple tools and an hour of time, you can remove the old light and install another.

Before you buy another light, make sure the new unit will fit the space without interfering with other fixtures, cabinets or the mirror. A new light should not cause glare as you stand in front of the mirror but should give out enough light to see well. Apart from those considerations, you can choose multi fixture lights, different sizes and shapes or shades to compliment or contrast with the décor. The choices are extensive. Having lights on both sides of the mirror rather than one overhead is the best choice for a vanity mirror as it provides and even light on both sides of the face.

Step 1 - Turn Off the Power

Turn off the power to the lights at your fuse box. If your bathroom is dark, get someone to help you by holding a flashlight. If you are fixing the new light to a new position on the wall, you should mark the new spot with a pencil.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Light

Remove the old light bulb, then the shade. Set them aside. Unscrew the nuts or screws that attach the light to the wall. Before you undo the wires, make sure the power is off by testing it with your voltage meter.

Step 3 - Undo the Wires

Carefully pull the wires out from any junction box or housing. Take the wires out from under the screws, and set the old light aside. Remove any mounting bracket.

If you are mounting the new light to another area, cut a hole where you will be placing it and move the wires through to that hole. You may have to attach longer wires if necessary. Then use a piece of wire to hook the wires through to the new spot.

Step 4 - Reconnect the Wires

Use the screws provided with the new light to attach the bracket from the new light to the wall. Reconnect the wiring to the back of the light fixture. Attach the wires to the house wiring, color for color, and wrap them with electrical tape or a wire nut. Take note of the manufacturers instructions so that the wires are fixed correctly and the fixture is properly grounded.

Step 5 - Attach the New Light

Fold the wires back into the box. Attach the light to the base bracket and secure with the nuts or screws provided with the fitting. Most lights are made to fit the same box. Attach the shade or diffuser, making sure the retaining nut is only friction tight, and then the light bulb. Make sure the wattage of the bulb does not exceed the maximum for the fixture.

Step 6 - Turn on the Power

Turn the power back on and test the light. If your new light has a different base than the last, you may need to spackle and repaint the old holes before screwing on the new fixture. If you are moving the light to a new position, just repair the old cable hole and spackle the screw holes, then paint.