Key Points:

  • It is necessary to properly identify the power source as well as the install location for the fixture before attempting the installation.
  • Installing a light fixture in a location where there are no existing wires is more challenging than replacing an old one.
  • It is strictly advised to wear safety gear such as rubber boots and gloves to avoid any sort of electrical hazards.

Hanging a light fixture from the ceiling can illuminate a much larger area inside the room. So, if you are trying to figure out how to install a ceiling light fixture without existing wiring, you have come to the right place.

There are a few steps to properly install a light fixture without existing wiring. These include, gathering necessary tools, placing the fixture and switch, installing the cables and connecting the wires.

In this article, I’ll go over each step in detail to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the process. So, let’s get started.

How To Install A Ceiling Light Fixture Without Existing Wiring

How to Install a Ceiling Light Fixture Without Existing Wiring?

There are a few steps to go through to figuring out how to install a ceiling light without existing wiring. They are:

1. Gathering Necessary Tools and Equipment

Before you begin the installation process, you’ll need to acquire a few tools to ensure that the job is done correctly and that you’re safe. You must always wear proper safety gear before working with any electrical components.

Which equipment do I need?

  1. First of all, you need to acquire rubber boots and gloves.
  2. You might need goggles to protect your eyes in case of sparks or feedback.
  3. Use an electric voltage tester to check the voltage of the wires, if they are accurately supplying the preferred voltage as well as checking if the power has been turned off properly.
  4. You can either use contact voltmeters or non-contact voltage testers which provide ample safety.

2. Placing the Fixture and the Light Switch

It is crucial to properly select the location for the fixture, the switch and the path for the cable. Because to properly wire the fixture, you must create a proper power line.

How to place the fixture and the light switch?

  1. Choose a location that meets your requirements. Place the fixture near the center of the ceiling if it is intended to provide light to the entire room. Remove plastic ceiling light cover if needed.
  2. Place the fixture in a specific area, such as over a table or kitchen island, to provide more light to that area.
  3. With a stud finder, locate the ceiling joists in that area, as the electrical box from which the fixture hangs will attach to the side of the joist.
  4. Trace the outline of a ceiling electrical box against the ceiling where the fixture will be installed.
  5. Using a drywall saw, make a hole in the ceiling.
  6. Place an old-fashioned electrical box against the wall, between two studs, where the light switch will be installed.
  7. Trace the box onto the wall and use the drywall saw to cut a hole.

3. Installing the Cable

In order for the fixture to work properly, you have to complete the wire installation accurately. Wiring is a crucial step. Any mistakes in this step should be avoided.

Installing the Wiring
Fig 1- Installing the Wiring

How to install wiring in a room?

  1. Cut a small hole in the edge of the ceiling along an imaginary line that runs between the ceiling hole and the wall hole (Fig-1). The hole should be large enough for your hand to fit through.
  2. In the hole in the wall, insert the end of an electrician’s fish tape. Bring the fish tape all the way up to the hole you made in the ceiling.
  3. While you continue to feed the line, have an assistant direct the fish tape toward the hole in the ceiling.
  4. Connect an electrical cable to the end of the fish tape and reel it through the ceiling and wall to the light switch hole, then disconnect the fish tape.
  5. Place the ceiling box inside the ceiling and nail or screw it to the side of the ceiling joist, then slide the end of the cable through the knockout hole on the ceiling box.

However, the procedure might be different depending on the type of walls your room has.

4. Connecting the Wires

It’s critical to properly connect the wires for the light fixtures to work.

Wire Connection
Fig 2- Wire Connection

How to connect the wires of the fixture?

  1. With a pair of wire strippers, remove 2 inches of the cable sheathing where it extends from the ceiling.
  2. A black (hot) wire, a white (neutral) wire, and a bare copper (ground) wire are all found inside the cable.
  3. With the wire strippers, remove an inch of insulation from the black and white wires.
  4. With a pair of pliers, twist the tip of the black wire from the cable to the tip of the black wire from the light fixture together (Fig-2).
  5. Wrap a wire nut around the wires’ ends and twist it several times. While keeping the wires connected, the wire nut acts as an insulator.

5. Hanging the Fixture

The final step is to properly hang or attach the fixture of the light to the ceiling.

How to hang the light fixture?

  1. Raise the light fixture all the way to the ceiling. If the fixture is suspended from a chain, remove links until the fixture is suspended at the desired height.
  2. Use the mounting hardware provided by the manufacturer to secure the fixture to the ceiling box.
  3. Raise the canopy to the ceiling and screw it in place to cover the hole in the ceiling.
  4. To connect the light switch and wire the circuit to your home’s main electrical box, you may hire an electrician. Because it’s extremely dangerous, most municipalities prohibit anyone who isn’t a licensed electrician from doing so.

However, you might be wondering, how much does it cost to install a ceiling light without existing wiring? Well, it depends on the type of fixture you choose, and the amount of cable needed. But it is estimated to cost somewhere around 40$ to 50$ on average. You could also connect multiple led lights to one switch if you wish to.


In this article I have discussed the steps of how to install a ceiling light fixture without existing wiring in detail. This will act as a guide for any reader that wish to take on this task themselves. However, please contact a professional if you lack proper experience and are confused about the procedure.

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