First step to wiring: ensure that there is no electricity going to the wires you are working on. This may be done by switching off the breaker or by turning off the light switch (and making sure that no one is going to accidentally turn it on while you are wiring).
The basic idea to wiring is to match colors: black is the live wire. It sends current into the light. White is the neutral. It takes the electricity out and back to where it came from. And then the copper is the ground, which is for safety and makes sure nothing gets charged with electricity.
You might have to cut and strip wires, particularly if you are doing new construction. Wires are covered in a coating that is usually white or black, but the actual wire is the metal inside. The metal needs to be touching for the electricity to go through the different wires.
To attach wires together, you use wire nuts. You have to shove the wires in a twist the wire nut to twist the wires all together. The wires need to be securely in there, so it’s good to tug on them to make sure they are secure. You use electrical tape to secure the wire nut and wires in place.
And if you are using a metal box, you also need to attach the ground wires to a green screw on the box with a separate green wire (pigtail).
Usually you put on the mounting bracket before you attach the wires together. Then you put the wires together. When you’re doing a light fixture, you might want to find some extra help to hold up the light fixture while you are wiring the light. Otherwise, you have to pretend you have three hands.
After you put together the live wire, neutral wire, and ground wire, then you shove the wires back into the box, which isn’t a fun part of the job.
Then you attach the light to the mounting bracket and you’re done. You’ve installed a light.
Things that can go wrong:
- If you don’t adequately secure the wires together, then the light fixture may not work at all.
- If you attach the wrong colors, you might get sparks and start a fire.
- If you accidentally turn on power to wires you are working on, you can get electrocuted, which hurts.
I installed a few light fixtures yesterday, and to be honest, it was not easy. I didn’t always attach the wires together securely enough and had to do it again and again until I finally managed it. I had a hard time figuring out how to hold up the light fixture and wire it together. And shoving the wires back into the box can be hard, because sometimes the wires don’t bend like you want them to.
I would suggest that when you are learning to wire a light, you have someone who knows about wiring to come and help you out. While you can read or look at a tutorial, like this one, it can be a frustrating process to do the first few times if you aren’t sure what you are doing.
But once you attempt it a few times, it is a total doable DIY project.
Well, everything is a DIY project if you take the time and effort to learn enough.