Installing a fluorescent light is a simple procedure with dramatic results.

To mount a typical fluorescent ceiling fixture, first use a stud finder to find ceiling joists. If none are available where you wish to hang the fixture, you can use toggle bolts to anchor it in the drywall. Either way, make sure your drill and hardware are accessible. Shut off the power to the circuit before doing any work on the fixture.


1 First, remove the cover and make any connections within the fixture, as specified by the manufacturer. Use wire nuts for splices. You may also need to add pigtails and a grounding jumper to bridge the gaps between internal fixture wires and the point where cable enters the fixture.

2 Open up a knockout in the fixture canopy, and then feed incoming wires through the hole. This fixture is mounted directly below a ceiling box; if your fixture is not, plan to secure cable to a smaller knockout with a metal cable clamp.

3 If possible, drive screws through the fixture canopy and into the ceiling joists. If the joists do not align with the fixture, secure the fixture to the ceiling material with toggle bolts.

4 Splice the fixture’s black lead to the circuit’s black hot wire and the white fixture lead to the incoming white neutral wire. If there is a green circuit grounding wire, wrap it about the fixture’s grounding screw. Secure it by tightening the screw.

5 Finally, slip the ends of the fluorescent tubes into the tube holders, and then add the diffusing panel atop the tubes. Like this one, most diffusing panels simply snap into place. Restore power, and test out your new light.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort