Homeowners ask their handyman to install a variety of light fixtures. Flush mounted, hanging, recessed, and track lighting fixtures. They all install very similarly, with each type of fixture fitting a different need. The benefit of track lighting is that you can have a multitude of lights on a single fixture and can direct the lighting to wherever you want.
Since track lighting fixtures mount on the surface, it makes for a very easy installation. In many ways, installing a track lighting fixture is like any flush mounted fixture installation, except that you have a larger fixture and more lights.
Generally, you start by installing the fixture to the junction box and making the wiring connections. Here is an article on installing a light fixture and a discussion on wiring. Once the connections are made, the track is run and mounted into the ceiling. It's always best to install the track into the ceiling joists if possible, but if not, the fixture will come with drywall anchors to support it.
Some track lights use standard light bulbs and others use small halogen bulbs with a transformer. The individual fixtures are placed in the track and typically make electrical contact by turning the fixtures until they are seated in the track. Once that is done, adjust the lights to wherever you want to direct the light.
Many homeowners are looking for a little extra security, especially at night. One of the easiest ways is to light up the area. Having a handyman install some landscape lights around the perimeter of the property will help light up someone entering the boundary of the property. Installing some motion detector lights in place of a coach light at a door will illuminate points of entry at the house. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply replace existing lights with motion detection light fixtures.
Motion detector light fixtures are installed like any light fixture, with the exception that you will have some adjusting to do. Here are some details on replacing a light fixture. Basically, you will remove the old fixture and connect the black hot wire to the black fixture wire, the white neutral wire to the white fixture wire, and the green or bare copper ground wire to the ground terminal in the fixture. Use wire nuts for tight connections. Then attach the fixture to the wall.
Adjusting the motion detector light fixture is not complicated. It's probably best done at night so you can test it and get a feeling for it's sensitivity. First, aim the bulbs in the direction where to want the light cast. Next you will need to aim the motion sensor for height and distance, as well as how sensitive you want it. You won't want the lights to turn on, for example, if the trees across the street are blowing in the wind. Adjusting it is a matter of making incremental changes and then testing them as if you were approaching the house. Finally, you can choose to leave the lights on for a few seconds or a few minutes after the sensor detects movement.
Many of us have the "Hollywood" light bars in our bathrooms. You know, the light fixture that looks like a bar with several large light bulbs in a row? (C'mon, imagine a starlet applying makeup in front of one). Well, these are among the first items that get replaced when updating the look of a bathroom. When you go to replace this type of light fixture, you are in for a surprise.
Normally, a junction box (a.k.a. j-box) is installed in the wall to house the electrical connections and give the light fixture something to screw into. Not so with the light bar. Builders have typically just punched a hole into the drywall and run the wiring to the light bar without using a junction box. This is all fine and dandy except when you go to replace the light bar with a fixture that uses a junction box. When you remove the Hollywood bar you will find a rather large hole.
So you have a couple of problems. There is no junction box, there is a large drywall hole, and now there is no light in the bathroom. The last one is easy as you can run a light with a cord into the bathroom, so at least you have light to work. The first two problems will take a little more work.
You may not have to do drywall work if you buy a light fixture that has a large enough base to cover the drywall hole. Here is some information on how to do drywall repair.
For the junction box, you can use a remodeling box which has plastic ears that grip the drywall. You simply place it in the hole and tighten the ears to pinch the drywall. The Romex wiring can then be placed into the box through the slots in the side or rear of the box. If your hole is next to a wall stud, you can use a metal junction box and nail or screw it to the stud. Here is information on installing a metal junction box.
Once the drywall and junction box issues are solved you can install the new light fixture.