There are lots of reasons you might need to know how to replace a vanity light. It may not be giving you quite enough light, or perhaps you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom’s style. Sometimes light fixtures break — and nobody wants to be inconvenienced by nonfunctional lighting, which means the time for a change is now.
If you’re wondering how to replace a vanity light fixture, the process is relatively straightforward. Take caution, though — you will be working with electrical components, which means extra safety measures will be required. When you’re ready to get started, read below and we’ll walk you through the process.
Changing a bathroom vanity light is one of those jobs that many DIYers can handle — but if the prospect makes you nervous, there’s no shame in hiring a professional to do it. Knowing your limits and taking extra care when dealing with electrical fixtures could help you avoid injuries or even a fire.
If you decide to do the job yourself, you’ll need to make sure that the electricity to the fixture is shut off at the breaker box. To do this, start by turning the bathroom light on. Shut off the electricity at the breaker box, then verify that the light went off when you flipped the breaker. Then, turn the light switch off as an extra safeguard in case someone unknowingly turns the breaker back on — and make sure that you warn everyone in your household to leave the light switch and breaker box alone until the job is finished.
How to Replace a Bathroom Vanity Light: Removing the Old Fixture
Now that you’ve taken some safety precautions, it’s time to get started. The first thing you’ll want to do is open the packaging for your new light fixture, so that you can verify that it has all the parts needed to complete the job. Also, check to make sure that enough wiring sticks out from the back of the new fixture, so you’ll be able to attach it to the wires within the wall.
Next, you’ll need to remove the old light fixture. Take off any glass shades so they don’t break, and remove the lightbulbs. Use gloves if the bulbs are hot or if there is broken glass. Look for screws that attach the fixture to the wall — sometimes these can be hidden along the rims of a flange or beneath decorative caps. You may also find thumb screws to remove a decorative plate that conceals the main attachments.
When the original light fixture is free from the wall, you’ll be able to undo the wiring that connects it. If you have a voltage tester, use it to confirm that the electricity is off — otherwise, you can always doublecheck the light switch and breaker box to confirm that the electricity is still off. Then, gently pull the wires out of the junction box within the wall and undo the wire nuts joining them.
Once you’ve finished with this, check the wires protruding from the wall and make sure the ends of the wires are in good shape — not overly frayed or damaged. If the wires are badly frayed, you can use a wire cutter to snip away the damaged section, then strip off the wire’s coating to leave about 1/2 inch of the wire exposed.
Installing Your New Light Fixture
Attaching the new fixture follows a similar process to removing the old one, but in reverse. Make sure to adhere to package instructions as you complete this job. Get started by attaching the fixture’s wires to the wires in the wall using wire nuts. When you have each wire nut in place, give the wires a gentle tug to ensure that they are snug and won’t come loose later.
Next, install the new light fixture’s mounting system. This will usually involve a bracket and screws to attach the fixture to the wall. Once you have it in place according to package instructions, continue following those instructions to add any decorative covers, shades or other components.
By the end, all you’ll need to do is put in the light bulbs and install the shades, if applicable. When all of this is finished, give the light fixture a close look to make sure everything has been installed correctly. You’ll then be able to turn on the circuit breaker to the bathroom, followed by the switch for that light fixture to verify that the light is working.
Whether you’re wondering how to change a bathroom vanity light and looking for new fixtures, or you want to make a major upgrade to your bathroom, shop the selection at Modern Bathroom. We have everything you need to make your upgrades — including beautiful vanities to elevate your bathroom’s style.
Is it easy to replace vanity lights?
If you're wondering how to replace a vanity light fixture, the process is relatively straightforward. Take caution, though — you will be working with electrical components, which means extra safety measures will be required.