Installing a Sconce Light
Follow these guidelines to remove an existing wall sconce and wire a new one.
When removing an existing sconce, save all the old screws and incidental hardware—you never know what you might need when you attach the new one. Turn off power to the outlet, then use a noncontact tester to make sure the power is off. Next use a probe tester to verify that the power is off.
|Safety Alert: It’s always best to turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse rather than relying on a light switch to disconnect power.|
Remove the fixture’s mounting screws; in this case, they’re on the side of the fixture base 1. As you do so, always support the shade so it doesn’t fall out and break 2. Or you can remove the glass shade by unscrewing the small setscrews that hold it to the fixture.
Some low-voltage sconces, such as the one shown here, require a transformer, which fits under the fixture base 3. Pull the fixture away from the wall to reveal its spliced wires. Remove the wire nuts splicing the supply wires to the fixture wires 4 and gently pull the wires apart. Then disconnect the ground wire that is attached to a green ground screw on the fixture or spliced to the fixture ground wire.
After disconnecting the wire splices, remove the mounting bracket because it won’t be needed to mount the new fixture 5. (Most likely, its holes won’t line up with the new fixture’s mounting screws.) Save this bracket in case you want to reinstall the old sconce elsewhere.
Connecting a New Sconce
Once the old sconce has been removed, you’re ready to connect the new one. Feed the incoming supply wires through the center of the new sconce’s mounting bracket 1 and then screw that bracket to the outlet box in the wall.
Screw the ground lead from the fixture (here, a yellow and green striped wire) to the ground screw on the mounting bracket 2. Next splice the neutral supply wire to the fixture neutral, then splice the hot supply wire to the fixture hot wire 3. Making sure that all wires are within the mounting bracket, screw the fixture base to the bracket 4.
Attach the shade by tightening the small setscrews on the side of the shade holder 5. Don’t overtighten the set screws or the shade could crack when the bulb heats it up and it expands. Once in place, you should be able to rotate the shade slightly.
Excerpted from Wiring Complete, 3rd Edition (The Taunton Press, 2017) by Michael Litchfield and Michael McAlister