Step-By-Step: How To Remove Light Fixtures

I’m Andy Sjostrom and my company is the
Good Handyman and I’m here to take care of some projects around the house get
this house ready for sale. One thing that we can do to make things easier for you
as painting goes, is to pull down existing light fixtures that are up. So
the benefit of taking the light fixture down is that, one it’s going to be easier
to paint, two you’re going to have the opportunity to keep that that fixture
free from paint droplets which is kind of a drag cleaning those guys off, and
three you don’t have to worry about taping it off. So there’s a lot of
benefits to that. And it’s not something that you really
have to be too worried about. What you need to do is for starters you
could throw the breaker switch down and the panel that shuts the power off
to that particular light. In this case each of the individual breakers are
labeled: second floor, laundry, basement, north heater, furnace, all these
individual things here. And you can use those as reference points, but don’t be
absolutely sure about it. The best way to know for sure is to flip the breaker go
back upstairs and check to see if those lights are really out. So in this case,
I’m going to do first floor because that’s the most likely. Now the other
thing you can do is just simply turn the light switch off that cuts power to that
location as well. So what I’ll do just for starters, I’ll shut the light
off and then I’ll find the canopy fasteners. So in this case, little
brass knobs on here that come off probably relatively easy. And then once
that comes off, we’re going to disconnect the switch leg and the neutral that run
to that light switch and just simply take it all the way down. So
I like to start by taking these glass fixtures off. There’s nothing worse than
taking a light fixture down and the glass fixture breaking because you’re going to spend a ton of time trying to find a
replacement for that glass fixture. Remember righty-tighty lefty-loosey. Be careful when you’re un-tightening and tightening these set screws on glass
canopies because you don’t want to crank down on them any more than they already
are because there’s a chance that if you cranked on it, it’ll crack the fixture,
will crack the glass. And of course this is something that you could leave to
your handyman. Knowing yourself in a situation like this, don’t get yourself in over your head. If this is something that you’re not comfortable doing, take
the time to find a good handyman. What I always like to say is a good handyman
provides you a peace of mind. We’re wondering in the back of your head
whether you rewired that fixture exactly right. It’s going to keep you up night
after night after night. But the great thing about hiring a good handyman, a licensed professional handyman, is that you know
from their experience and their knowledge base that they’re going to
make the right decisions. We can work on these two set screws here that hold the
canopy to the wall. And be careful on the pliers that use,
because a lot of these new fixtures or even old ones will have a nice finish on
them that you don’t want to mar with a big bulky set of pliers. Give
them a little loosen just so that they loosen up. The light fixture was put on
just after they painted so this light fixture even though the set screws are
nice and loose still has a little bit of tightness against the wall and that’s
simply due to the fact that the paint has dried with that fixture in it. So
what I like to do is just take a razor blade and skim around just nice and
lightly, all the way around the perimeter. Be careful, don’t go cutting off into the
wall. And you’ll even hear it starting to break away. If this fixture has dried in
the paint if you go and try and yank it off the wall without cutting around it,
you’re going to tear that paint right off the drywall. So another one of those
situations where you just want to make yourself do a little bit of legwork
ahead of time. One great thing to do when you’re working over to sink, pull
that plunger, because there’s nothing worse than trying to fish a set screw
out of the bottom of a drain. So here we’ve got a white and a black wire
coming out of the wall. These are what are called wire nuts they hold the wires
from your fixture to the wires coming out of the wall, make the final connection. And I always
recommend starting with the black and pulling the white, and the reason being
that if you pull the black, replace the wire cap nut on
there you’ve isolated the fixture. If you pull this, if you start with the white,
then your fixture is still potentially hot. So it usually just takes a few turns. Well they’re clean. Twist the wire nut
back on Sometimes it takes just a little bit of yanking and pulling. This is a kind of situation where, if you
open up this box, and you saw a lot of cloth-covered wire, a lot of frayed wires,
this would be the point at which you call a handyman or an
electrician. You don’t want to get yourself into a situation where you’re
damaging existing wiring that’s back there. Creating a situation that’s
potentially dangerous or hazardous. So if you at any point in this process feel
uncomfortable just pull out, just back out. But the number one rule is don’t get
anybody killed, don’t burn your house down.

7 Replies to “Step-By-Step: How To Remove Light Fixtures”

  1. This was great! I only wish there was more of a close-up in order to see what he's unscrewing (how does it screw back on?)…and I'm not a huge fan of that background music (would so much rather here nothing – it was distracting though maybe just cause it's cheesy!)…but overall Andy explains things very well and thoroughly and it was a very helpful video. He also has a pleasant disposition – seems to have a nice personality. Thanks!

  2. Great video you guys need this handyman to do more videos he is great watched them all so far thank you.

  3. Too much talking not enough focus on the job itself. Video could have been half as long. Don't even get me started about the music. :-/

  4. I'm painting my bathroom and have no idea how to do something like this after watching this video I think I will call handyman

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