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How to Install a Motorized Light Lift

Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron helps a homeowner install an electric lift to move her light fixture up and down, allowing easy access to the fixture for changing lights and cleaning


  1. Before doing any electrical work, ensure that power is turned off at the circuit breaker. Use an electrical tester to confirm this before proceeding.
  2. Remove the existing light fixture by disconnecting the electrical connections between the electrical box and the fixture. Remove the existing electrical box.
  3. Place the new magnetic electrical box through the hole in the ceiling.
  4. Mount the motorized electric winch to the access space above the ceiling. If the access space has open boards is in an unfinished joist bay, you may have to add structure to mount the winch. Use drill/driver and screws to mount it to structure.
  5. If the old fixture did not have a source of constant power, you may need to run a new wire to the lift to supply it. Splice together the constant electrical source to the wire which controls the motor. Use wire nuts to secure the connections.
  6. Splice the existing switch control wires to the wires that feed the light fixture.
  7. Splice together the supplied low voltage wires from a switch box to the matching wires on the motorized electric winch. Use wire nuts to secure the connections.
  8. Fish low voltage wire from the electric winch down to a new low voltage ring near the light fixture. This low voltage ring will be where the lift is controlled.
  9. Connect the ground wires to the motorized electric winch using a screwdriver.
  10. Place the cover on the motorized electric winch.
  11. Use push connection to lock in low voltage wires and attach the key switch to the low voltage ring to the wall using screws and a screwdriver.
  12. At this point, you can restore power at the circuit panel to lower the lift.
  13. Use the key to lower the electrical box on the winch down to a workable area. Keeping constant downward pressure on the cable, carefully remove the weight.
  14. Splice the corresponding electrical connections from the plate to the light fixture. Use wire nuts to secure connections.
  15. Use the key switch to raise the light fixture. When the magnetic connection is made, the light will turn on.

Scott installed the ALL200 residential light lift system, manufactured by Aladdin Light Lift. It’s capable of lifting 200 pounds.

The homeowner selected the Orb Chandelier in Bronze, which was purchased from Ballard Designs.