Step 8: Install the light fixture

wiring, ceiling, medallion, junction box
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
«»
Unscrew the mounting bar and nipple from the junction box. Tighten nuts onto the nipple on either side of the mounting bar to secure it. Feed the fixture's wires through the nipple and out the mounting bar. Screw the nipple/mounting bar assembly to the light fixture.

Using wire strippers, remove ½ inch of insulation from the fixture's wires. Lift the fixture in place, and have a helper hold it. Screw the mounting bar to the junction box. Thread the wires over the top of the mounting bar and back down out of the ceiling.

Wrap the bare copper from the junction box around the mounting bar's grounding screw and tighten it. Then twist its end together with the fixture's ground wire, green or bare, and secure it with a wire nut. Determine which of the fixture's wires connects to the neutral wire; look for a wire with silver strands or one whose insulation is white, ridged, or has writing on it. Then twist it onto the ceiling's white wire and secure it with a wire nut. Connect the other (colored or smooth) wire to the black wire coming from the ceiling.

Push the canopy into place, and tighten the collar nut underneath it to secure it against the medallion. Restore power to the fixture.
Ask TOH users about Living Spaces

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • abrasive sponge
      Abrasive sponge for cleaning the ceiling
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 3/8-inch paddle bit
    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • wire strippers
      Wire strippers for installing the light fixture
    • caulk gun
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. Ceiling Medallion Available online or in home centers, in diameters ranging from less than 10 inches to more than 70 inches. You can order a medallion with a center hole precut or get one without a hole and cut it yourself.

    2. Mild Dishwashing Soap to clean the ceiling in preparation for the installation.

    3. Medium-grit Sandpaper to smooth the medallion's center cutout.

    4. Threaded Nipple to attach the light fixture to the ceiling’s junction box. Most fixtures come with the appropriate nipple, but you may need to get a longer one to account for the thickness of the medallion. 5. Adhesive Caulk to stick the medallion to the ceiling, fill the screw holes, and cover voids between the medallion and the ceiling, if necessary. Choose a paintable caulk such as Phenoseal Does It All or Liquid Nails All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk.

    6. Trim-head Screws to fasten the medallion to the ceiling while the adhesive caulk adheres; 3½-inch screws should be long enough, though thicker medallions may require longer screws.

    7. Paint to match the ceiling or the trim in the room. A flat finish will show off the carved details best.

    8. Wire Nuts to connect the light fixture.