How To Replace A Light Fixture With A Ceiling Fan

Light fixtures are nice in a bedroom or living space, but a ceiling fan in these areas can help add comfort, and can actually add value to your home. Replacing a light fixture takes some work, so if you aren't up to the task of working with electrical wiring and small tools, leave this job to a professional and hire an electrician to replace your light fixture for you. If you think you can handle it, read on for directions.

What You'll Need For The Job:

  • Ceiling fan kit
  • Outlet box (for a ceiling fan)
  • Brace (or 2" x 8" piece of lumber)
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver (both flat and Phillips)
  • Electric drill
  • Utility knife
  • Socket wrench (and sockets)
  • Needlenose pliers 
  • Wire snips
  • Keyhole saw
  • Ladder
  • Protective eye-wear


  1. Start by turning the power of to the light you are planning on replacing.
  2. Once it's turned off, begin taking out the old light fixture, including the outlet box it was attached to.
  3. If the hole in the ceiling is too small for the new outlet box, you'll need to cut a larger hole. Place the new box over the old hole and trace around it. Then cut around the lines using the keyhole saw.
  4. Install the brace bar (or 2x8 piece of lumber cut to fit snugly between the joists) - attached to the two joists around the outlet box. Then screw the outlet box to the brace bar or piece of lumber.
  5. Next, pull the old wires through the hole in the outlet box so you can attach the new fan's mounting bracket. Follow the instructions for the mounting bracket and use any hardware that came with the ceiling fan kit. 
  6. Take the wires and connect them: white to white, black to black and ground wire to the green wire. Place the wires carefully into the outlet box.
  7. Attach the fan's canopy, the down rod and the fan's blades following the manufacturer's directions.
  8. Finally, add any lighting that came with the kit and any light covers. 

When finished, turn the power back on and test out your new ceiling fan to be sure it is working properly. Test the fan at each speed, then make any necessary adjustments with the screws holding the ceiling mount or the fan blades in place if it shakes while the fan is on. 

Replacing a light fixture is not too difficult to do, but if you aren't handy, you may want to leave it to the professionals, such as RDS Electric.