Replacing CFL surface mount lights with LEDS

CFLs (compact fluorescent lighting) has been a popular choice for many years when compared with incandescent bulbs. CFLs were a go-to choice for high output lighting with low heat and low power consumption.

Due to these characteristics CFLs have been a good choice for closets and other areas where incandescent heat is problematic for safety reasons.

However, CFLs have a limited lifespan and the light color temperature is a big drawback for aesthetic reasons in many areas such as under counter applications.

Original CFL. Just plain ugly.

With the advent of affordable LED lighting it is quickly becoming almost impossible to find CFLs and incandescent lighting for general use. Light fixtures are becoming integrated as LEDs have improved so much they may only need to be replaced every two dozen years.

Integration of LEDs into the fixture allows for sleek profiles that provide a much more modern / clean look and feel to any living space. Good LED fixtures emit a nice even beam or glow without any dark spots like traditional light fixtures have.

Remove protective cover. No wonder the light looks uneven.

Removing the existing light fixture is easy in most cases. A Philips #2 screwdriver is all it takes to remove this particular light fixture.

Scrape off any paint or drywall mud on ground wire.

Note the painter decided to paint everything including the wire. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE POWER OFF. Scrape any paint off the ground wire with your fingernail or a tool.

Clean ground connection.

When you can see clean copper you are ready. Don’t go overboard and ruin the wire.

Save wire nuts for re-use.
Connect Hot, Neutral, & ground wire.

Connect the new fixture by connecting the new fixture. Hot (this is the power wire) Black to Black, Neutral (white power return wire), and copper colored ground wire to copper stranded ground wire. Use wire-nuts or push nuts to make a solid connection.

Align fixture with mounting screws.
Twist on diffuser cover.
Enjoy a clean look and bright light in cubby and closet areas that may last a lifetime without replacing!

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