How To Replace A Ceiling Fan With A Light Fixture — 9 Easy Steps

Are you thinking of pimping up your home to give it a new and more attractive look? One way to start is by taking out that old ceiling fan installation. Here, we will show you how to replace a ceiling fan with a light fixture.

You might already know that replacing a ceiling fan installation with a light fixture in your home is possible, but well, if you didn’t, here’s a fact, it is one of the oldest home improvement tricks in the book.

A ceiling light fixture always brings a different and really elegant look to the room, and with air conditioning, you actually might not be having much use of that old ceiling fan after all.

How To Replace A Ceiling Fan With A Light Fixture
Photo by Bersam on Unsplash

Things You Might Need

  • Step ladder: to climb up to the ceiling, obviously. If you are not able to get this, a step stool or table might suffice. However, do ensure that whatever you will be standing on is firm enough so you don’t fall while you are working up there.
  • Drill: a battery power drill with a Phillips tip bit is usually a very convenient tool to use for the screws and all that, but we also understand that not everyone has this lying at home, so, a screwdriver, in most cases, will do a good job in its stead.
  • Assistance: taking down an old ceiling fan and installing a ceiling light fixture is real heavy work, so, you might actually need one extra pair of hands to help with with all the lifting and setting down. Of course, it is work you can eventually do on your own, it will just be much easier with someone there to help.
  • Pliers: to help with cutting, twisting, or bending wires. It will also be useful when you have to connect wires together while you install the ceiling light fixture.
  • Tester: you will need a voltage tester to test for electrical power in the wires. One must ensure that there are no live wires before making contact.

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How To Replace A Ceiling Fan With A Light Fixture

Below are simple steps you can follow to replace a ceiling fan with a light fixture:

1. Turn Off Power

Always remember that the first thing to do before you begin working with electrical wires is to make sure that the wall switch and the circuit breaker are turned off.

Please, do note that it will not suffice to just turn off the light switch. Always turn off power at the source or just cut off power to your home until you are done altogether.

2. Remove Mounting Screws

At the top of the fan, there are usually a couple of screws. Those screws are called the mounting screws. Use your drill or screwdriver to carefully remove those screws. 

Once they have been loosened, grab the fan blades, twist a little bit to the left or to the right and give the fan a gentle pull. This will expose the wires which will then lead to the next step.

Before that, though, it has to be said that some ceiling fans are really bulky, and so, it’d be really inconvenient to remove them while all the parts are still together in the way we just described.

In such a case, you would have to disassemble the blades first to make the fan a little lighter. If you are dealing with a fan with a fan light, take out the bulbs first before the blades.

If you have been able to successfully make the fan light by disassembling it, then everything else from there follows as we have stated above.

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3. Test The Wires

One thing to always remember is that dealing with the wires will require extra caution. Whether it is a black wire, a white wire, or a ground wire, treat with caution.

This is why you would need to first test each of the wires to see if they are live or not.

You can do this with the help of a voltage tester, just like we mentioned earlier. If the tester lights up after it has made contact with the wires, then the wires are live. DO NOT TOUCH!

Again, to be on the safe side, you could just cut off power to your entire apartment until you are done with your installation.

4. Unscrew Wire Nuts

This is when you might actually need that extra pair of hands. You might need someone to hold the fan while you unscrew the wire nuts and then disconnect the wires.

Once the wires of the fan have been disconnected from the ceiling wires, you can now set the fan aside.

5. Install New Mounting Bracket

Now that the old fan has been put aside, it is time to begin installing the new light fixture. The first thing you will have to attend to is the mounting bracket.

Get it in place, installed to the electrical box, then put the mounting screws in the bracket.

If the fixture you are about to install is a really big one, like a chandelier, for example, you could go ahead and use the ceiling box of the fan.

A ceiling box is designed to hold the extra weight of really heavy fixtures, so, that won’t pose a problem.

However, if the fixture is a lot smaller, then you may have to take out the ceiling box.

6. Connect The Wires

Up next, after you must have properly put the mounting bracket in place, you will now have to connect your light fixture to the electrical box in the ceiling.

Carefully lift the light fixture to the electrical box and then connect the wires carefully and accordingly. That is, white wires go together, black wire to black wire, and copper (or green) on copper (or green).

Note that the the copper (or green) wire could also be referred to as ‘ground wire’. So, if what you see on your light fixture box is ‘ground wire’, you know what it is referring to.

Another thing to note is that a red wire is not uncommon to find. So, do note that you can attach a red wire to a black wire if there isn’t another red.

7. Screw On Wire Nuts

Remember you earlier had to loosen the wire nuts to uninstall the ceiling fan. Now, just do the opposite and tighten the wire nuts on the ends of each of the wire connections. 

Screw tightly but not too tightly, then hide the wires just behind the electrical box.

8. Screw In Fixture Base

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Screw in the canopy (base) of your light fixture until it is firm up against the ceiling. Make sure it is tight and secure up there.

9. Install Fixture Cover

At this point, your new light fixture is pretty much installed. What is left is to install the fixture cover, attach the new bulbs, and then go and turn on power. Then turn on the wall switch and test your new ceiling light installation.

If it does not come on, then you will have to go back to your electrical box and check if you got anything wrong. The problem is very likely to be with your wires. Perhaps you did not attach them firmly enough.

So, ensure that all is done properly. You know, with wires, you will have to be extra meticulous. Remember, the black wire goes with black wire (or red), white on white, and the ground wires go together.

So, there you have it! These 9 simple steps have probably proven to you that replacing a ceiling fan with a light fixture is work you don’t really need an electrician for.

And of course, when you are done, please, do ensure to properly dispose of the ceiling fan you just uninstalled. Some people decide to have their old ceiling fans installed elsewhere.

You know, if it still works, it could just go to another room. And also, just as you have seen with light fixtures today, installing a ceiling fan isn’t much of a big deal either. You surely can manage that by yourself.

If you would also like to see how you can replace an old ceiling light with a new fixture, check out this article here.

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