Fix-It Chick: Install flush mount fixture

Update to a recessed-light look without the hassle of actually installing a recessed light by replacing an existing light fixture with a new LED flush mount fixture.

Step 1: Forget about wattage and focus on the degree of Kelvin and lumens for the new fixture. 2800 K emulates the yellow of an incandescent light; 3500-4000 K produces a more natural white light. Eight hundred lumens is equivalent to a 60-watt bulb, and 1500 lumens is more like a 100-watt bulb.

Step 2: Use the circuit breaker or fuse in the electrical panel to turn off the power to the existing light fixture.

Step 3: Remove the glass shade and light bulb from the existing fixture. Unscrew the mounting nuts or screws to loosen the fixture from its mounting bracket.

Step 4: Use a voltage sensor to test each electrical wire behind the light fixture to confirm the power is off.

Step 5: Remove any electrical tape and unscrew the plastic wire nuts to disconnect the old light fixture from the box.

Step 6: Remove any mounting hardware attached to the electrical box.

Step 7: Confirm the new fixture will mount to the existing electrical box. If it will not, consider choosing a different fixture rather than replacing the existing electrical box.

Step 8: Install any new mounting hardware onto the electrical box.

Step 9: Use wire strippers to cut the old ends off the existing electrical wires and strip away the plastic wire insulation to expose the recommended length of bare copper wire.

Step 10: Most flush mount fixtures come with a quick-connect wiring harness. If so, push each electrical wire into the corresponding hole of the push connect fitting at the end of the wiring harness. If not, use wire nuts to connect the corresponding electrical wires — white to white, black to black and ground wire to ground wire.

Step 11: Wrap the push-connect fitting or wire nuts with electrical tape and press the wires up into the electrical box.

Step 12: If applicable, snap the other end of the wiring harness into the matching fitting on the back of the new fixture.

Step 13: Turn the power on to test the new fixture.

Step 14: Once everything is working properly, turn the power off and mount the new fixture by pressing or twisting it into place.

— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at


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