You can learn to hang kitchen lighting fixtures yourself as long as you take special care when working with electricity. More homeowners are injured every year in electric-related incidents than any other do-it-yourself project.
Step 1 - Decide on Type of Illumination
What is the purpose of hanging your kitchen light fixture? Is it an accent to enhance the room's ambiance? Is it for general room illumination or for specific tasks needing extra lighting? Answer these questions before heading to your favorite home improvement center. Choose from a variety of design ideas including a chandelier fixture (three or more lights hanging from a single source) a pendant light (one bulb), or combination fixture displaying two or three lights on a single bar suspended from the ceiling.
Wall-mounted lighting also comes in a variety of single and multiple light devices. Try to match the fixture to the style of your home. If you have a historic house or traditional home, choose a light fixture that evokes the style of the period in which the house was built. There are many modern functioning light fixtures that mimic historic designs.
Step 2 - Power Off
Locate the breaker to the wiring where you will hang your new kitchen lighting fixture. If the panel is not clearly marked, with the assistance of a helper, turn breakers off and on until you locate the correct one. Label it clearly but turn it off and place a piece of masking tape over it so no one turns it back on while installing the new fixture. Use a voltage detector to make sure no live current is present before proceeding.
Step 3 - Add Support Brackets
Secure the fixture support bracket or base to either a ceiling or wall stud where you are installing the hanging kitchen lighting fixture.
Step 4 - Add Wire Connections
Follow the manufacturer’s wiring diagram that should accompany the purchase of the new fixture. If not available, always connect the same color wires together: black to black, white to white. Make sure to connect the ground wires also. These will either be bare copper wires or covered with green plastic. Check to make sure the connections are secure by using wire nuts.
Step 5 - Connect Fixtures
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for connecting the new kitchen lighting fixture to the bracket, brace, or base. Make sure all connections—screws, twisted on, plugged in—are secure and tight.
Step 6 - Install Bulbs
Install the new fixture’s bulbs making sure they are securely connected. Remove masking tape on the breaker and turn the switch on. Inspect the new hanging kitchen lighting fixture to make sure it operates properly.
Tips to Remember
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions about wattage requirements when attaching to existing wiring. Most household fixtures operate on a 110 current.
When using directional lighting, make sure the fixture can be adjusted to properly cover the area you want to illuminate.
Always work when installing a lighting fixture with the power turned off.