Brighten your space with new fixtures

2023-01-30 14:33:56 By : Ms. Anny An

Warning: This project may make you feel way too confident in your home repair skills. 

It’s a new year, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already trying to channel spring by incorporating warmer tones and brighter spaces in your home.  Sensor Wall Light

Brighten your space with new fixtures

What’s one way to easily brighten up a space? Well, with lights, of course! 

If you’ve never done it before, changing out your pendant light fixtures is probably easier than you’d imagine, although a bit trickier than blogs might have you believe.  

Personally, if I read about a project rated “easy,” I imagine it taking 10 minutes and causing zero headaches. While changing out my pendant lights took quite a bit longer than that and did indeed leave me with a dull throbbing in my head, the payoff was worth it. 

I had been living with my builder-grade pendant light fixtures since I moved into my house. They looked decent enough, but I knew that to create the mood I was going for, I needed something different, starting with the pendants above my kitchen counter. 

Last year, I took the risk, removing the stainless steel and glass pendants to spray-paint the metal part black to better fit my other decor. As I untwisted the electrical wire, I was convinced I’d made a mistake and would be living with gaping holes in my ceiling for the foreseeable future. But to my pleasant surprise, after I’d finished painting the lights, reinstalling them went so smoothly that I considered adding “electrician” to my resume. 

You can easily find a full video or written tutorial from an actual electrician, but the general steps of taking down/putting in new lights are: Turn off the power to the lights on your breaker (by far the most important step!); untwist the wires that connect the light to the ceiling and remove the light; match the color-coded wires of the new light with the wires in the ceiling; cap those wires off, and then reattach the light to the ceiling. 

Once I realized how straightforward this process was, and after living with my spray-painted lights for a while (which were a great temporary solution, by the way), I decided to swap them out for new fixtures altogether. 

The new fixtures did present a few challenges. First, I had to strip some of the coating off to expose the wire on these new fixtures. It was one instance where thinking, “How hard could this be?” backfired. As I tried to remove the coating (without reading how to do it first), I accidentally cut off some of the wire along with it. Then, I cut off a little more. Then, a little more. Eventually, I had a nub of wire that almost left the light unusable. 

This was indeed a setback, as having such little wire to work with made installing the fixtures much more difficult. Learn from my mistake: If you’re not sure how to strip the wire coating, look it up, take your time to be gentle, and make sure you’re using the proper tool. 

Another roadblock: The tops of my previous pendant lights were apparently larger than those on my current lights, and a bit of the hole in the ceiling is now showing. Had I known to look out for this, I could have put on a ceiling medallion or some other trim (I saw someone online even suggest a painted paper plate) before I installed the light. However, after the shortened wire debacle, I decided to cut my losses and worry about the barely noticeable holes later. 

After a few hours and a brief moment of panic, I persevered and now not only have brand new lights, but also feel like a skilled contractor.  

So, while I wouldn’t necessarily label this project as “easy,” it is one that can be done by a beginner and will leave a lasting impact on your home (and potentially on your confidence as a homeowner).  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be online shopping for new lights to switch out every remaining fixture in my house. 

Email your questions to Theresa "Tess" Bennett at and keep up with Tess on Instagram @homewithtess

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