T8 Fixture Installation for Garage Lighting

fluorescent t8 light fixture
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-400
What You'll Need
T8 light fixture
Protective goggles
Blue and black markers
Circuit tester
Rubber soled work shoes
Toggle bolts
Stud finder

Installing a t8 fixture in your garage for fluorescent lighting will give you a much brighter light than incandescent bulbs. Not only are t8 fluorescent bulbs a great choice for brighter lighting, they are also far more economical than other types of lighting. Installing a t8 light fixture can be accomplished with basic electrical system wiring knowledge. The standard t (tubular) 8 (8 inches in diameter) light bulb comes in various lengths. A four foot length makes installation, removal, and disposal easier for one person.

Step 1 - Locate the Power Source

Open the garage door to allow ample natural light into the work area. Locate the circuit breaker box. Locate the circuit that supplies the current lighting fixture. Turn off the power. Alert others in your home you have turned off the power and are working on an electrical project.

Step 2 - Remove Current Light Fixture

Remove any exposed light bulbs before attempting to remove the current fixture. Once the light bulb has been removed you should see several screws. Hold the light fixture with one and remove the screws.

Step 3 - Remove the Wires

wiring with light in the background

Test the wires with the circuit tester before attempting to remove any of them. Once you remove the wires you can remove the fixture.

Step 4 - Position t8 Fixture

Determine the desired location of the t8 fixture. You may need to make slight adjusts to accommodate the position of the wiring and the appropriate knockout hole. Mark the mounting holes on the ceiling with a blue marker. Use the stud finder to determine where the joists run relative to your mounting marks. Place black marker over any mark not connecting to a joist; you will use a toggle bolt in these locations.

Step 5 - Prepare the Knockout

Using a screwdriver press or punch on the point where the knockout is attached to the fixture. Press until you can easily grasp with pliers. Rock the knockout back and forth until it breaks away to the appropriate size. Your kit will have a protective plastic bushing that you will insert here.

Step 6 - Mount the t8 Fixture

Take the wires from the ceiling and insert them through the plastic bushing in the knockout. Line up the fixture with the blue marks and any toggle bolt you need to use. Securely attach the fixture to the ceiling.

Step 7 - Attach the Wiring

light bulb in a ceiling fixture

Follow all manufacturers’ instructions for the wiring connection. The ground wire should be attached first. Generally, the ground wire does have any insulation and you will attach white wires to white wires and black wires to black wires. Cap the wires with the included wire nuts.

Step 8 - Attach Light Fixture Cover

Place the fluorescent light bulbs into the fixture. Snap on the light cover.

Step 9 - Turn on the Power

Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker box and turn on your new light in the garage.