Install a Bathroom Light Yourself

If you have Hollywood lights, congratulations - you need to update your bathroom fixture STAT.

If you have Hollywood lights, congratulations – you need to update your bathroom fixture STAT.    Photo credit: Simply Staged

A Brand New Light

By Clarissa Allison | October 28th, 2016

Too many bathrooms still sport the ubiquitous and dated 1980′s Hollywood lights, and yet no one really likes them!  If you are ready to tackle a DIY home remodeling project, upgrading your bathroom lighting for functionality, beauty and safety, is a great place to begin. With quality, flattering light, you’ll be able to enjoy the necessities of grooming more than ever.


Before You Begin

Before you embark on installing your new bathroom light, be sure to take the following safety precautions:

1. Use insulated gloves and tools at all times throughout the process. Some wiring conventions allow the hot wire color to vary, such as on three way switches and fans, so it is important to check all wires.

2. Switch off and lock out the breaker to any circuit being worked.

3. Use a non-contact voltage detector to confirm the power is off, as simply turning off the wall switch is not secure enough.

Hinkley Lighting 5592 Meridian 2 Light Bath

Hinkley Lighting 5592 Meridian 2 Light Bath

Gather the Right Tools

1.Phillips and flat-head insulated handle screw drivers

2. Non-contact voltage detector.

3. Drill with a 4” hole saw (optional)

4. Electrical pliers and utility knife

5. New bathroom light,

6. Safety gear: (safety glasses, dust mask, work gloves and ear plugs)

Remove Bulbs and Fixture

Remove the cover and light bulb from the existing fixture after they have cooled. Insert the tip of the touch-type voltage detector into the socket, and test it to ensure that the power is off to the fixture. Use the utility knife to score around the fixture where it contacts the wall. This will help prevent paint being pulled up during fixture removal.

Remove Screws and Mounting Bracket

Remove the nuts that secure the fixture to the wall box, and slide the fixture off of the mounting bracket. Remove the wire connectors, and disconnect the fixture’s wires from the circuit wires.

Remove the mounting bracket’s screws which secure it  to the wall box. Check for any signs of damage or oxidation to the wires. If any damage is found, cut the affected wire away and use the wire strippers to strip away 3/4-inch of insulation from the ends of the wires for fresh leads.

Add New Junction Box

The new light base plate needs to be installed directly to the box. Run the circuit wires through a knock out hole and secure the bracket to the wall box using the screws that came with the new fixture. Use a torpedo level to ensure that the mounting bracket is level before and after you tighten the screws. Level the base plate in the vertical or horizontal position depending on your style of light. Fill any old mounting holes that won’t be used or covered up.

Three Light Antique Forged Iron Antique Excavation Glass Drum Shade Flush Mount

Three Light Antique Forged Iron Antique Excavation Glass Drum Shade Flush Mount

Join Wires

Install the bare copper grounds from the wall and the light to the screw on the base mounting plate. Next join the white wires together with a new wire nut, then the black wires. Fold everything neatly into the junction box.

Mount and Level New Fixture

You may need to adjust the mounting studs on the base plate out so the decorative nuts can be installed. Mount the new light being careful to tuck any loose wires into the base.  Loosely tighten and level the light before a final tightening.

Insert the New Bulbs

If you are using high-temperature bulbs like halogens,  handle the bulbs with gloves as the oils from your hands can cause hot spots on the glass and lead to a premature failure.

Flip the Breaker, Then the Switch

Once your brand new light is fully connected and installed, make sure the wall switch remains off. Flip the breaker to the ON position, and make sure it stays on for at least 10 seconds before testing the light with the wall switch.

Congratulations, you’ve just completed your own home improvement project!  Remember that if you are not clear on the requirements to complete your own home improvement task, contact a qualified electrician to assist you. Always value safety first.

For loads of elegant, affordable and unique bathroom lights, visit the Louie Lighting website HERE.  Email us at or call toll free at 1877 385 2104 for questions or to place an order by phone. The team at Louie Lighting wishes you and yours and safe and wonderful weekend!

ELK Lighting 11431/2 Willow Bend 2- Light Bathroom Light Polished Chrome


  1. says

    Great job! the lights added more value to the bathroom. You can also light up your mirror with LEDs, lining your mirror with energy-efficient LED lights will instantly make your bathroom pamper zone a whole lot more functional and user friendly, especially if the space was poorly lit to begin with. If you like modern style, try LED mirrors instead of the regular plain one, that will help to increase light levels and add glamour to your bathroom.

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