Under 2 hours
Installing new vanity lighting is a quick way to upgrade your lighting. The new fixture will provide better light, and enhance your decor. Good vanity lighting brightens up the space and makes tasks like applying makeup or shaving easier. Since the wiring is already in place, attaching new vanity lights is a simple and straightforward DIY project. Use this step-by-step installation guide to safely and successfully install new vanity lighting or bathroom sconces.
Now is your chance to make a functional and stylish update to the space. But first, you must make some important decisions.
- Before you dive into the project, measure your old light fixtures. Note the width of your bathroom mirror so that you know the approximate fixture width range to look for.
- Your new vanity lights may not have the exact same dimensions as the old one. Before you install the new fixture, you may need to spackle, sand and paint the old fixture’s footprint. Hold the new fixture up to the wall in its desired position, then lightly trace around it with a pencil. Repair the areas outside the line.
- Gather your tools to save time and make the installation easier.
Disconnect the Power
Before doing any electrical work in your home, disconnect the power to the bathroom. Go to the breaker box and flip the correct breaker to the "off" position. Leave a note on the breaker box during the installation so that no one flips it back on before you’re finished. Use a voltage meter to confirm there’s no electrical current going to the fixture.
Tip: If the breakers aren't labeled, ask someone to flip the bathroom light switch as you try different breakers. After you find the right one, take the time to label it.
Remove the Existing Fixture
- Remove the shade and screws and set them down in a safe spot where they won't break.
- Unscrew the light bulbs and set them safely aside.
- Loosen the nuts and screws that secure the decorative plate to the mounting bracket.
- Hold on to the mounting bracket with one hand, and gently pull the decorative plate away from the wall to expose the wiring behind it.
Tip: If the fixture is located too high for you to work comfortably, use a step stool to help steady and balance yourself.
Disconnect the Wiring
Before you touch the wires, check them again with a non-contact voltage tester to make sure there is no power going through them. Check both the fixture and the in-wall wiring.
Prepare the Area
To disconnect the fixture wiring from the in-wall wiring, remove the wire nuts on the sets of black wires, white wires and the bare or green ground wire. Once the wiring is disconnected, you can remove the old mounting plate from the wall.
Install the New Mounting Plate
Your new vanity light will come with a mounting plate to ensure a proper connection to the electrical housing. The appearance of the mounting plate may vary, depending on the fixture you use. It’s most commonly shaped like a disk or a bar.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for securing the mounting plate onto the junction box, which usually requires screws or nuts. The assembly will come with everything you need for the installation.
Connect the Wiring
Be sure to read and consult the new fixture's manual. Follow any instructions from the manufacturer about connecting the wiring. Below are some general instructions for connecting wiring:
- Partially loosen the grounding screw on the new bracket. The grounding screw typically has a green head, but refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific fixture.
- Twist the bare grounding wire around the screw a few times, then tighten the screw.
- Twist together the ends of the two black wires—one from the wall and one from the new light. Cover the joined ends with a wire nut, and twist it clockwise to tighten. Give the wire nut a gentle tug to make sure it is secure.
- Repeat these steps for the white wires.
Tip: A new light fixture presents an opportunity for energy efficiency. Opt for LED bulbs to help save on your energy costs.
Attach the New Light Fixture
With the wiring connected, secure the new vanity light onto the mounting plate. Tuck the wiring securely into the electrical box, then tighten the nuts or screws that hold the base plate in place.
Once the installation is complete, head back to the breaker box. Flip the breaker for the bathroom to the "on" position. Turn the light switch on in the bathroom and watch your new vanity fixture light up.
Upgrading your bathroom vanity lighting is a quick and easy way to improve your bath's functionality and style. Now that you know how to install new vanity lights, all you need is the right fixture and the right tools for the job. Use The Home Depot Mobile App to locate products and check inventory. We’ll take you to the exact aisle and bay.