How to Safely Replace Commercial Lighting Without an Electrician


Replacing commercial lighting fixtures can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and safety precautions, it is possible for a non-electrician to do. When done correctly, you can save on electrician fees and update your lighting exactly how you want. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to safely replace commercial lighting in your business or building.

Assessing Your Current Lighting and Needs

Before replacing any fixtures, take time to assess your current lighting setup and determine your needs.

Thoroughly understanding your current lighting and end goals will lead to the best replacements.

Choosing the Best New Fixtures

Once you know what needs replacing and why, it's time to choose new commercial lighting fixtures. Key factors to consider:

Type of Light


Color Temperature

Size and Mounting


Safety First - Turning Off Power

Before touching any wiring or fixtures, you must disengage power to avoid electrocution.

Shutting Off Breakers

Locking Out Panel

For larger lighting retrofits:

Testing Wires

Regardless of method used, always 100% confirm power is off by testing wires with a non-contact voltage tester before touching.

Removing Old Commercial Lighting Fixtures

With power disengaged, you can now safely work on removing old lighting.

Materials Needed

Assemble all necessary tools and supplies:

Dismounting Fixtures

Take care not to let wires fall into ceiling space, as this makes retrieving them difficult. Keep all hardware for re-installation.

Installing New Commercial Lighting

With old fixtures down, it's now time to safely install the new, upgraded lighting.

Inspecting New Fixture

Mounting Light

Connecting Wires

Re-Mounting Cover Plates

Testing Function

Safety Tips and Precautions

Though DIY commercial lighting replacement can save money, safety should be the #1 priority. Keep these tips in mind:

Replacing commercial lighting is very rewarding when done safely. Following these best practices will lead to successful upgrades. The improved aesthetics, light quality and energy savings will quickly pay back the time invested.