Installing Wall Mounted Lighting

Intro

Wall sconces provide indirect lighting for hallways or stairways or work as wall accents. Place them just above eye level.

Use a ceiling box and wire just as you would a ceiling light. Most sconces mount with a center stud so you can level the fixture even if the box is not level.

Install fixtures on both sides of a mirror. A strip of lights over a bathroom mirror or medicine chest calls for a similar method. Such fixtures use low-wattage bulbs to reduce glare while providing plenty of light.

Checklist

Time
About 3 hours to run cable and install a switch and two sconces (not including cutting a pathway for the cable and patching walls)

Tools
Voltage tester, drill, saw, fish tape, screwdriver, strippers, long-nose pliers, lineman's pliers

Skills
Stripping, splicing, and connecting wires to terminals; installing boxes; running cable through walls and ceilings

Prep
Find power source and make sure the new lights do not overload the circuit. Spread a drop cloth on the floor below.

Materials
Sconce(s), ceiling boxes and a switch box with clamps, cable, switch, wire nuts, electrician's tape

Step 1

Shut off power to the circuit. Cut wall holes for the sconce boxes and the switch. Run cable from the power source to the switch, then to the sconces.

Step 2

Clamp cable to a wall box and install the box. Most sconces come with all the necessary hardware -- usually a strap with a center stud. The strap also helps carry heat away from the fixture.

Step 3

To wire a sconce, splice the white fixture lead to the white wire and the black lead to the black wire. Connect the grounds.

Step 4

Slip the sconce over the center stud and start to tighten the nut. Stand back and check that the base is plumb and then tighten the base.

Step 5

Install the lightbulb, making sure it does not exceed the manufacturer's recommended wattage. Clip the lens into place. Wire the switch.


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