Replace Light Fixture With Switched Outlet

Update a closet wall light with a switched corded overhead light.

Disclaimer: Always use multiple sources and do your homework before performing any electrical work. Also, make sure all work is done within national and local code.

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Step 1: Turn Off the Power

The first step in any electrical related work is to turn off the power. Flip the breaker off for the circuit you will be working on.

Step 2: Remove Fixture and Test Voltage

Remove the thumb screws and pull off the fixture cover. Before continuing with any work, use a voltage tester to confirm there are no hot wires in the box.

Step 3: Remove Fixture

Once you have confirmed the wires are safe to handle, uncouple the wire connector caps and untwist the pigtails to free the fixture. Then unscrew the fixture bracket.

Step 4: Loop the Wire Ends

Make sure there is enough exposed copper on the end of each wire. If not remove some sheathing. Then make loops to connect to the outlet.

Step 5: Attach Wires to Outlet

Loop the wires around the outlet screws. Connect the bare ground to the green screw, the white neutral to the silver screw, and the black hot wire to the gold screw. Make sure the wire loop end is pointing in the same direction that the screw is turned to help when tightening the screws. Once the outlet is connected push the wires back into the box and secure it in place. Then replace the outlet face plate.

Step 6: Test the Outlet

Return to the breaker to turn the power back on for the circuit. Use an outlet tester to test that everything has been properly connected.

Step 7: Hang the Light

Hang the light and plug it in to the new switched outlet.

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    3 Discussions

    None
    Phil B

    13 days ago

    Lighting circuits are usually fused at 15 amp. and outlet circuits at 20 amp. due to current capacity of the respective wire sizes. This works fine so long as no one needs more than 15 amps. to run a device connected to the outlet.

    2 replies
    None
    djpolymathPhil B

    Reply 13 days ago

    Thanks for chiming in Phil. 20 amp is now common for receptacles in newer construction, but I am in a home built in the 90s that is run with 15 amp breakers and 14 guage wire. That is a good point for anyone reading and I'll add a disclaimer, because you can never be too safe with electrical work.

    None
    Phil Bdjpolymath

    Reply 13 days ago

    Thanks. I did not want in any way to sound critical, just to make people aware replacing a light with an outlet does not automatically make 20 amps. avaiable.