During our home bar build, we realized we wanted a chandelier ceiling light. The only problem? The room wasn’t wired for a light. Originally there was no lighting at all (odd, right?). So we decided to get a new light wired in the ceiling and our chandelier installed. In this blog, we’ll share the process we followed to install a new ceiling light without wiring. Plus, how much does it cost us to hire an electrician for the work.
Table of Contents
How to Install a Ceiling Light without Wiring
1. DIY vs. Hiring an Electrician
The first step in installing a ceiling light without wiring is determining whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire an electrician. If you are electrically savvy, you may be able to do it yourself (we’ve outlined the steps that our electrician took below).
On the other hand, wiring a new light is harder than basic electric work like changing a light fixture. Based on our limited electrical experience, we decided to hire an electrician.
2. Finding an Electrician
To find our electrician, we used Thumbtack.com (not sponsored). We’ve used them for a variety of projects, from big to small, and have had a positive experience each time. Plus, it’s a great way to easily get multiple quotes for a project.
When we were looking for an electrician, there were two criteria we used to find the right electrician:
- Their reviews and ratings on Thumbtack (they have to be 4 stars minimum)
- Their availability
Once we found two electricians that looked promising, we called them both to learn more about their experience and process. The second electrician was a better fit (more convenient time availability, plus they seemed more knowledgeable).
3. Splicing Electric from a Nearby Outlet
The first step to wiring a new light is to identify the nearest and most convenient outlet. This will be the source of your power.
Once you have an outlet that you can tap into, use a voltage tester to ensure it is live (some outlets may not be working properly, and you’ll want to check before proceeding).
Next, you’ll want to cut the power to the outlet before touching any wiring. Use your voltage tester to ensure that the power is off.
You’ll want to splice the power off of the existing outlet for your new light. Depending on the location of your outlet and your new light will determine how much wire you need.
4. Wiring the Light Switch
Now that you’ve got a source of power, you’ll need to determine the location of your new light switch and light. For these spots, you’ll need to cut the existing drywall to fit the necessary switch and fixture.
Typically you’ll want to install the light switch box and switch next to a stud. Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs (these will be used as the supports for your new light). Once you’ve located the studs, use a drywall saw to cut out the hole for the light switch box. Now that your hole is cut, insert the light switch box and screw it into the stud.
5. Cutting Drywall
Depending on the location of your light switch and new light fixture, you may need to cut holes in your wall and ceiling drywall to run the light. Our electrician needed to create two holes (about 4″ x 8″) where the wall meets the ceiling to navigate the wire appropriately.
6. Wiring the New Light Fixture
From there, you can begin wiring the new light fixture. First, you’ll need to cut the proper length of electrical wire (based on the distance between your source of power and the new light fixture location).
Once you’ve got enough wiring, it’s time to connect everything. All wires will be paired accordingly (positive with positive, negative with negative) based on their colors (black for hot, white for neutral, and green for ground).
To ensure everything is wired safely and properly, it’s a good idea to consult an electrician (or refer to the instructions on your light fixture box). Once all wires are connected, you can install your new light.
7. Installing the New Light
Now that you have your light switch wired, it’s time to install the light fixture itself.
First, you’ll want to screw the base of your new light into the ceiling box that you previously installed. Next, connect any wires (from your switch) to the light fixture and screw them all together tightly.
Finally, ensure everything is secure, turn on the power, and test out your new light to ensure that it works properly.
8. Repairing the Drywall
If you needed to cut holes in your drywall to run the wiring, you’ll need to repair those holes once your light is installed.
Depending on the size of your holes, you can hire a professional, buy a drywall repair kit or patch it yourself.
For our holes, we decided to repair them ourselves by patching. Most home improvement stores sell smaller drywall pieces for these types of jobs. From there, we cut the drywall to the right size, then used small pieces of wood to attach it from above-using screws.
How Much it Cost to Wire a New Ceiling Light
Our electrician charged us $200 to wire our new ceiling light. This included labor and basic parts like wiring and a switch. This price can vary depending on the complexity of your wiring project, but this is a good estimate for most standard projects.
We felt like this was a reasonable price, and it took him about 2 hours to complete the job.
If you’re looking to wire your own ceiling light, be sure to take all necessary safety precautions and consult an electrician or installation guide before proceeding. With the right tools and knowledge,
Can You Install a Light in Any Room?
Yes, you can install a light in any room as long as there is nearby power to splice off of. Otherwise, you’d need to run new power to the room, which isn’t impossible but definitely more complex.
Of course, there may also be some factors that make this more difficult or costly for certain rooms. For example, if your ceiling is high or has tricky wiring, installing a new light fixture may be more challenging.
That being said, with the right tools and knowledge, installing a new ceiling light can be an easy and affordable DIY project for any room in your home.
Tips for Installing a New Light
- Turn the power off – Step #1 in any electrical project is to turn the power off. Safety first.
- Buy a matching dimmer/light switch – Since you’re wiring a new light, you’ll want to make sure you buy a light switch or dimmer that matches the rest of your house. Most electricians will wire your light using a standard $1 light switch. For ours, we provided a matching dimmer, and our electrician was happy to use it.
- Know where you want the switch – Figure out where you want the new switch and the new light fixture before you start. Whether you’re DIY’ing this installation or hiring an electrician, you’ll need to plan appropriately.
- Buy the light fixture before your electrician – If you’re hiring an electrician, you’ll want to have the light fixture ready and available when they wire. This will let them get the entire job done in one trip.
Wiring a new ceiling light in a room is an affordable and easy upgrade that can transform any space. We love how our lounge looks with the new chandelier, plus it provides much-needed light.
If you’re looking to wire your own ceiling light, be sure to take all necessary safety precautions and consult an electrician or installation guide before proceeding. With the right tools and knowledge, installing a new light fixture can be an easy DIY project for any room in your home.